U.S. Supreme Court seems divided over birth control rule

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 25, 2014 12:36 PM

(Washington) -- The nation's highest court seems divided over whether employers' religious beliefs can free them from a part of the Affordable Care Act requiring they provide coverage of birth control for employees at no extra charge. 

The case argued involves family-owned companies, including one from Lancaster County, that provide health insurance to their employees.

Conestoga Wood Specialties, of East Earl Township, is owned by the Hahns, a family of Mennonite Christians, and employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. 

The company and Hobby Lobby object to covering certain methods of birth control they say can work after conception, in violation of their religious beliefs. 

The Obama administration and its supporters say a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the businesses also could undermine laws governing immunizations, Social Security taxes and minimum wages.

The justices have never before held that profit-making businesses have religious rights.    

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