Contraception Mandate

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (PPACA), signed into law on March 23, 2010, mandates employers to offer their employees health insurance options that provide preventative contraceptive services, such as birth control without co-payments. The PPACA's contraception mandate has been met with considerable protest by nonprofit religious employers, as well as religiously-oriented national and regional for-profit corporations. These employers are against funding their employees' lifestyle choices and feel that their religious freedom is being infringed upon by the mandate. First Amendment Free Exercise Clause arguments are utilized in favor of the protesting employers while Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause arguments serve as the constitutional basis for the employees. The circuit courts are split on when to apply and when to enjoin the mandate for religiously-oriented employers. The Supreme Court has certified three cases for review and this year will hear arguments by one of each type of employer mentioned above.

 

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