The influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday sided with an Ohio business that challenged Obamacare’s birth control mandate. The business owners—two brothers who own and operate Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics in Sidney, Ohio—argued that providing such coverage would violate their Catholic beliefs. The appeals court panel ruled in their favor (via LifeNews.com):
“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase; instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote on behalf of the court.
“They can either abide by the sacred tenets of their faith, pay a penalty of over $14 million, and cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building, or they become complicit in a grave moral wrong,” Brown wrote.
The Obama administration said that the requirement is necessary to protect women’s health and abortion rights. The judges were unconvinced that forcing companies to violate their religious rights was appropriate.
The Friday ruling is just the latest in a series of court cases challenging Obamacare’s birth control mandate, which many legal analysts expect will ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court.