Soon after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal rule compelling closely held companies to provide birth control coverage over their owners' religious objections, Democrats in Congress signaled they would craft legislation to make sure that women who get their health insurance from such companies can still get contraception at no cost.
But Monday's decision, which for the first time granted corporations the right to exercise religious beliefs, may also affect the prospects of success for religious not-for-profits that also oppose the so-called contraceptive mandate.
The high court struck down a federal regulation issued under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that required insurance plans for most privately held companies to include all 20 forms of approved birth control without cost-sharing to women in their plans. The rule was crafted after the Institute of Medicine concluded birth control was an essential health benefit for women. But three family-run companies with strong religious beliefs objected, saying prescription emergency contraceptives and intrauterine devices interfered with the viability of a fertilized human egg, which they said was a form of abortion.