Democrats file Supreme Court brief supporting contraception mandate

Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Top congressional Democrats said Tuesday they have filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

The justices are set to hear argument in March on whether "closely held," for-profit secular companies must provide free contraception insurance for women if their owners have religious objections.

The owners of the companies contend the contraception mandate imposes an unacceptable burden on the exercise of religion in violation of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.

The Democrats said in their friend-of-the-court brief: "The contraceptive coverage requirement does not substantially burden any exercise of religion in which the corporations might be found to engage because it does not compel the corporations to administer or use the contraceptive methods to which they object, nor does it require them to adhere to, affirm or abandon a particular belief. It merely requires the corporation, like other for-profit employers, to provide comprehensive insurance coverage under which their employees may make their own personal decisions whether to use whatever form of contraception, if any, best suits their individualized health and wellness needs."

Signing on to the brief were U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and a number of other high-ranking congressional Democrats.

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