CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, 410-889-8555; firstname.lastname@example.org
BALTIMORE - The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in favor of closely-held corporations that sought an exemption to a federal law requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception. The owners of the plaintiff companies - Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based craft supply store chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania furniture company - cited religious objections to contraception as a reason not to comply with the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), religious organizations, other civil rights and women's health groups, business leaders, and members of Congress filed friend-of-the-court briefs arguing that the companies' owners cannot impose their personal religious beliefs on employees by withholding coverage for health services with which they disagree.
"Never before has the Supreme Court said that private corporations can use their CEO's religious beliefs to deny employees a benefit that they are guaranteed by law to receive," said Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. "We all have the right to our religious beliefs, but religious freedom does not include the right to impose your beliefs on others. Now, we urge Maryland's congressional leaders to take swift action to ensure that all women have access to affordable contraception."
More information about these cases can be found at: http://_aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/challenges-federal-contraceptive-coverage-rule
More information about the ACLU of Maryland's advocacy on behalf of reproductive freedom can be found at: http://www.aclu-md.org/issues/reproductive_freedom