It was not long after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Hobby Lobby corporation that a number of other religious employers had filed lawsuits against the Obama administration for refusing to cover contraception in their insurance plans.
The Supreme Court’s decision came down to whether a company had a right to charge a fee for providing contraception to its employees.
The case involved two women who were seeking coverage for birth control pills that were sold at the pharmacy chain Walgreens and Rite Aid.
The drug was a prescription contraceptive that can prevent ovulation.
But some employees complained that Walgens and Rite Aids refused to provide them birth control, which could have resulted in infertility.
Walgreens said it was simply a matter of price, saying it could not provide the pill without charging a fee, and RiteAids said it had a moral obligation to provide it, which it did.
The court ruled in Walgesss favor in March 2018, saying that the company could not impose a fee to cover a drug that it could reasonably infer to be covered by the religious exemption, the Associated Press reported.
But the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether such an exemption applies to religious employers.
Now that the Hobby Guard case has been decided, many religious employers are trying to fight back, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which said it will ask the court to revisit the case.
“If there is a religious exemption for an employer, we need to make sure that we are not denying access to this exemption to any other employee, and we are certainly not denying it to those employees who are in need,” said Dr. Mark Ginsburg, the group’s senior vice president for government affairs, in a statement.
But the issue isn’t simply whether a religious employer can force an employee to use the pill.
It’s also whether it can force employees to pay for birthcontrol.
There is a significant difference between forcing an employee or employer to pay a fee in order to provide birthcontrol and forcing an employer to impose a contraceptive pill surcharge, said Elizabeth Kreft, senior legal fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.
The American College does not believe that an employer’s religious beliefs prohibit it from charging a surcharge for contraceptives, said Kreft.
Instead, the college believes that employers should be allowed to impose surcharges if they believe the contraception is medically necessary, or it is medically convenient.
Kreft said that the college has filed a petition with the court, asking the court not to consider the issue of whether employers have a religious right to impose the surcharge.
Forrester Research estimates that more than 10 million American employers require their employees to purchase birthcontrol, according to the nonprofit.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.