A local pro-life organization is applauding this week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow companies with religious objections to avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
In a statement, Brendan Shea, president of Madison County Right to Life, expressed the organization’s support of the decision.
“As we prepare for the celebration of America’s independence, it’s only fitting that the highest court in the land would affirm the religious freedoms our nation was founded upon,” Shea said. “Madison County Right to Life proudly unites its voice to Ohio Right to Life and all who stand for life and religious liberty.”
Founded in 2013, Madison County Right to Life is an official affiliate of Ohio Right to Life and the first county-wide pro-life group in Madison County.
MCRTL works through local outreach and education “to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.”
The justices’ 5-4 decision, splitting conservatives and liberals, means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under the health insurance plans of objecting companies.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion, over a dissent from the four liberal justices, that forcing companies to pay for methods of women’s contraception to which they object violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He said the ruling is limited and there are ways for the administration to ensure women get the birth control they want.
“American business owners should not have their religious freedom put in jeopardy when they choose to remain true to their consciences and religious values,” added Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. “If an employee desires additional insurance to what their employer provides, he or she is permitted to purchase an insurance rider for specific desires.”
In response to a post on The Madison Press Facebook page, Christina Bennett said she agreed with the court’s ruling.
“Their employees do have the choice to be responsible and use preventative contraception rather than emergency contraception,” Bennett wrote. “They also have a choice to seek employment elsewhere.”
Cassie Roberts disagreed.
“This sets a scary precedent. Corporations are not people, nor should they have more rights than people,” Roberts said. “One hundred percent wrong choice. Shame on the five justices.”
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