Supreme Court contraceptive ruling draws mixed reactions

5-4 ruling allows some companies to deny coverage

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A narrow victory for Hobby Lobby and other similar corporations. The Supreme Court ruling will allow certain companies to deny employees contraceptive coverage.

Monday’s 5-4 decision is the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law. One woman told 22News, “They should be able to have birth control at their access.”

Tim Biggins, Chairman of Pro-Life Commission of the Diocese of Springfield said it’s about “free speech and freedom of religion under the Constitution.”

The high court sided with Hobby Lobby, granting for-profit corporations, owned and run by a small group, an exemption to the Health Care mandate. Those companies can now deny coverage of birth control, if they claim religious objections.

Monday’s court ruling does not apply to religious non-profits. Right now, there are ongoing lawsuits, challenging the birth control requirement, from religious hospitals, college and charities.

Jeff Jacques from Southampton told 22News, “I’m definitely worried about the precedent it might be setting as far as the rights that’s given to large corporations, versus the rights of people, women specifically.”

One western Mass. resident said, “I think all corporations want to save money. Everybody’s cutting back on medical and dental, their coverage and what they are going to cover.”

On the same day of the ruling, a Gallup poll found that just 30% of Americans have confidence in the Supreme Court. The confidence level in Congress is at 7% and at 29% for President Obama.

Supreme Court justices emphasized the ruling is limited only to contraceptives. Companies cannot refuse to pay for services like blood transfusions or vaccines.

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