Posted by 05 May 2020
The legal fight over the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate continues at the Supreme Court today.
When enacted, the ACA included a mandate that insurance companies offer no-cost birth control. Some employers objected to this mandate, arguing that they had religious objections to some forms of birth control. They said that they should not have to pay for insurance that then provides a service they find morally objectionable.
There were various legal cases filed about this mandate, culminating in a 2014 Supreme Court decision affirming that some companies did not have to provide such insurance. In 2017, the Trump Administration went further, expanding this exception to include more companies. This administrative change is what is at issue in today’s Supreme Court arguments.
Pennsylvania is suing the Trump Administration, alleging that it exceeded its authority in granting more businesses an exception to the law. The state also alleges that the administration did not follow federal law in promulgating the rule.
At the heart of the argument is the idea, embodied in the ACA, that birth control should be widely available to individuals at no cost. Supporters say this is a good way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and it an essential part of women’s health care. Opponents to this idea have a variety of arguments. Some people point to their religious objection to providing birth control to others, especially types of birth control that they see as being no different than abortion. Others argue that if people want to use birth control, they should pay for it themselves, especially since it is widely available and not very expensive.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments and ask questions remotely over video conference.
Do you think that the government should mandate that businesses provide no-cost birth control to their employees through insurance?