The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that owners of private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires employers to provide insurance covering birth control for women.
The decision, which applies only to a small number of family or other closely-held companies, means an estimated several thousand women whose health insurance comes via such companies may have to obtain certain forms of birth control coverage elsewhere.
In a 5-4 vote along ideological lines, the justices said the companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the law known as Obamacare. The companies in the case said they did not object to all birth control but certain methods they said were tantamount to abortion, which they oppose for religious reasons.
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