Local News

Jun 30, 2014 6:06 PM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS

Religious Victory To Some, Women's Defeat To Others

CORPUS CHRISTI - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that businesses do not have to obey the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that "for-profit enterprises" can claim an exemption, on religious grounds.

It's a narrow victory for Hobby Lobby and dozens of other companies that sued. The companies argued that they can't be forced to provide contraceptives that violate their religious beliefs.

The ruling in their favor came as a relief to some, and a shock to others.

"It's infuriating, and it's disappointing," said Corpus Christi resident Lauren Dooley.

Hobby Lobby argued that morning-after pills are comparable to abortion, by preventing fertilized eggs to implant.

The court ruled that companies must pay for other religiously questioned health coverage, like blood transfusions and vaccines.

"My question would be," said resident Amanda Stephens. "What makes those beliefs any less valid than those of a small sect of one particular religion?"

It's the latest decision to challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and one that many see as a victory for religious freedom.

"Protecting the rights of people who are people of faith," said First Baptist Church Executive Pastor Steve Heartwick. "They have a right to not be forced to support something they don't support."

However, they say it's too soon to predict the real effects of this decision.

"There's so many different factors at work," said Heartwick. "I'm not for sure you can see what other implications there may be."

The ruling in the case is very limited in scope, dealing with just the contraceptive issue.

However, this is the first time the court has ruled that corporations can have religious beliefs akin to those of an individual.

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