Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby in contraception lawsuit

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The Supreme Court Monday ruled that corporations like Hobby Lobby cannot be forced to provide free contraception to women in the company health plan, even under the Affordable Care Act.

This is the first time the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

Hobby Lobby, along with Conestoga Wood and dozens of other companies, filed a lawsuit arguing they cannot be forced to provide contraceptives that violate the company's religious beliefs. The companies argued "morning after" pills and IUDs are akin to abortion by preventing fertilized eggs to implant.

"This was about protecting and defending the rights of all Americans to run their businesses," said Alison Howard with Concerned Women for America.

Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld two years later. The government had argued that the free contraceptives in the health law are for all women - including those who work for religious for-profit companies.

"Where do you draw line," asked feminist activist Michelle Kinsey Bruns. "If my boss believes smoking is sin, does my lung cancer not get covered? AIDS?"

In Monday's 5-4 decision, the Court was careful to point out this decision does not allow companies to refuse to pay for other health coverage like blood transfusions or vaccines.

Meanwhile, reaction is pouring in from across Indiana. Congressman Luke Messer said, "Today's decision is a significant victory for religious freedom."

The head of "Indiana Right to Life" said, "No company should be forced to provide drugs that end a human life."

The Associated Press contributed to portions of this article.