Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a recent decision by a divided three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The ruling states that forcing business owners to fund and facilitate contraception and sterilization services against the tenets of their faith encroaches on their free exercise of religious belief, and that the government’s argument that protecting womens’ health trumped that right was absurd.
The article reports:
…What Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in her decision was that corporations themselves, whether for-profit or non-profit, do not have First Amendment standing for religious exercise. However, those who own or run them do, and even though the Gilardis’ businesses are corporations, the net effect of the HHS mandate is to penalize the Gilardis individually for living their faith.
The argument the Obama Administration has made for the requirement that companies provide contraception and abortion services is that these services need to be covered in order to protect women’s health. The Court seems to be saying that providing insurance for these services does not necessarily protect a woman’s health and should not override the religious freedom granted in the First Amendment.
This case or a similar case will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court.