WASHINGTON (CNS) – The Supreme Court March 9 ordered the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its previous ruling and review – in light of the June Hobby Lobby decision – whether the University of Notre Dame must pay for coverage of contraceptives in employee and student health insurance plans.
The Supreme Court last June 30 said Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which also sued, need not comply with a federal mandate to include a full range of contraceptives in employee health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act includes provisions requiring employee health insurance to cover contraceptives. While there are exemptions for certain types of religious institutions, the circumstances are limited as to which employers may claim a religious exemption. The Hobby Lobby case dealt strictly with certain types of for-profit employers.
In that case, the court said the federal government could have chosen ways to provide uniform access to con- traceptives that were less of an infringement on the religious rights of the owners of the businesses. It said under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act such “closely held” companies can assert religious views that protect them from the mandate.