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The Supreme Court Decision in the Hobby Lobby Case: Conscience, Complicity, and Contraception.

Item

Title

The Supreme Court Decision in the Hobby Lobby Case: Conscience, Complicity, and Contraception.

Creator

Date

2014

Published In

Bibliographic Citation

ONLINE FIRST. JAMA Intern Med. July 14, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4200

Abstract

This publication examines the broad implications the United States Supreme Court's holding in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby et al. could have on medical care. The Court in Hobby Lobby held the company could sue for an exemption from the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act on grounds that it was a substantial burden on the company's exercise of religious freedom. The reasoning in Hobby Lobby could extend beyond insurance and parallels to debates over "conscience-based" refusals to prescribe or dispense contraceptives. There is concern that companies may use this same logic to discriminate in the name of religion against same-sex spouses with regard to benefit packages; employers may object to state-mandated coverage of in vitro fertilization; and physicians may be able to withhold information from a patient under a religion-based moral objection. Evidence shows the most effective methods of contraception that will lead to fewer unintended pregnancies, and thus, fewer abortions, is access to the most effective methods of contraception. Hobby Lobby may well be driving its female employees to less effective methods of contraception, leading to more unintended pregnancies and pregnancy terminations. By its own logic, Hobby Lobby may now become complicit in those additional abortions.

Keywords

Abortion
Contraception
Hobby Lobby
Religion
RFRA