Since the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires insurers to cover contraception without copay went into effect last year, business owners across the country have been suing the Department of Health and Human Services to get out of paying because, they say, giving money to an insurance company with the knowledge that it may be used toward birth control pills or Plan B goes against their religion. Judges have been largely split along party lines in their decisions, but one conservative Bush appointee came to the Obama administration’s defense this week, Think Progress reports.
Judge Julia Smith Gibbons, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, dismissed Michigan automotive-manufacturing company Autocam’s claim on Tuesday, on the grounds that people have religious faith, but businesses do not, and therefore the regulation of a for-profit business can’t violate its faith. (They could always make Autocam a nonprofit Catholic manufacturing company!) Others have argued that singling out birth control amounts to the employers imposing their religious views on employees, at the cost of the state’s interest in women’s reproductive health. Either way, enough federal appeals courts are in disagreement about the mandate to all but guarantee a trip to the Supreme Court, and Gibbons’s decision suggests whatever happens there will be interesting.