WASHINGTON — Employers do not need to provide insurance coverage for contraception even if their objections are moral rather than religious, a federal judge here ruled on Monday.
The case concerned a group called March for Life, which was formed after the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. The group, Monday’s decision said, “is a nonprofit, nonreligious pro-life organization.”
It opposes methods of contraception that it says can amount to abortion, including hormonal products, intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptives. Many scientists disagree that those methods of contraception are equivalent to abortion.
President Obama’s health care law and related regulations require most employers to provide free contraception coverage to their female workers. But there are exceptions and accommodations for religious groups and their affiliates.
March for Life sued the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies, arguing that the government had violated equal protection principles by treating it differently from “similarly situated employers.” The government responded that it had a rational basis for the differing treatment, as the group “is not religious and is not a church.”
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