EUGENE, Ore. — Privately held companies with religious objections, like Hobby Lobby, cannot be forced to offer certain types of birth control coverage under President Obama’s health care law.
In a 5-to-4 decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that some for-profit corporations have religious rights.
The high court considered appeals from the arts-and-crafts giant and a Pennsylvania cabinet maker. Both companies argued the mandate went against their religious beliefs and opposition to abortion.
Monday’s decision came two years after justices narrowly upheld the Affordable Care Act.
Anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights groups say the recent Supreme Court ruling could greatly affect local businesses.
Oregon Right to Life is calling Monday’s ruling a victory for religious freedom, but Planned Parenthood says this ruling interferes with women’s access to birth control.
This ruling does not impact birth control pills but does allow companies to deny coverage for emergency contraception and IUDs.
Oregon Right to Life says these provide the earliest form of abortion because they see the start of life as the moment an egg is fertilized. But Planned Parenthood says that’s just not true and companies should not be able to deny preventive medication to anyone regardless of religious beliefs.
“I think it’s just absolutely unbelievable that in 2014 we’re still fighting for access to birth control and that some politicians want to get rid of the birth control benefit completely,” said Laura Terrill Patten, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.
“It’s not fair for the government to force people to provide abortion inducing drugs as well as sterilization to their employees if it goes against their religious conviction,” said Liberty Pike, Oregon Right to Life spokesperson.
Both groups say they’ve been following this court case closely because of the large impact it could have on employees and businesses throughout the state.
Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley issued a statement saying this ruling could jeopardize contraception coverage for millions of women, and it’s dangerous to allow CEOs to control contraception coverage.
CNN contributed to this report.