I’m not a lawyer, or an American. I’m just a Brit with an interest in the US Supreme Court. There’s a good chance my analysis of this case is miles off, the reason I’m blogging about this at all is that I feel that most other amateur blogs on the subject are painting an incorrect picture of the situation and the result. To try and minimise both my own possible incorrect analysis and any misrepresentation of the facts of the case I will be quoting and linking to the texts that were at issue in the case as well as the written opinion of the justices (something I’ve not really seen any other blogs do).
Recently the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued an opinion in a case called Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. The issue of the case was whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could force religious employers to provide contraceptives that they considered abortive and against their religion. The employers felt that that this would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The businesses in the case took issue with four of the 20 contraceptives that the ACA required them to provide as they “may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus” (syllabus page 2) which would be a problem as “the owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and according to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients” (page 2).