Court Denies Faith-Based Birth Control Mandate Challenge
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Feb 13, 2015 No Comments ›› Infidel Alie

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Excerpted from Albany Times Union: An appeals court has ruled that the birth control coverage required by federal health care reforms does not violate the rights of several religious groups because they can seek reasonable accommodations.

Two western Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and a private Christian college had challenged the birth control coverage mandates and won lower-court decisions. However, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court ruling Wednesday said the reforms place “no substantial burden” on the religious groups and therefore don’t violate their First Amendment rights.[…]

Justice Department lawyers have argued the accommodation solves the problem because it allows religious groups to opt out of directly providing such coverage. But the plaintiffs contend that merely filing the one-page form, which puts a religious group’s objections on record with the government, violates their rights because it still “facilitates” or “triggers” a process that then enables third-party insurers to provide the kind of coverage to which they object.

The appellate opinion written by Judge Marjorie O. Rendell rejects that reasoning.

“Federal law, rather than any involvement by the appellees in filling out or submitting the self-certification form, creates the obligation” for third parties to offer the objected-to coverage, Rendell wrote. Keep reading