Religion, birth control, and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul are converging in yet another high-profile dispute at the Supreme Court.
The justices on Friday stepped into the fourth legal challenge to the law since Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010.
This time, the issue is the arrangement the Obama administration worked out to spare faith-based hospitals, colleges, and charities from paying for contraceptives for women covered under their health plans, while still ensuring that those women can obtain birth control at no extra cost as the law requires.
The groups complain that the arrangement leaves them complicit in making the contraceptives available, in violation of their religious beliefs, because their insurers or insurance administrators assume responsibility for providing birth control.
The faith-based groups “can’t help the government with its contraceptive delivery system,” said Mark Rienzi, a lawyer who represents the groups.