The Supreme Court ruled Monday that business owners can refuse to provide health insurance that covers birth control to their employees. The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo called the decision a "victory."
The mandate, which was originally contained within the Affordable Care Act, allowed employees to obtain prescriptions for at no cost. But owners of businesses such as Hobby Lobby objected on the grounds of religious freedom.
Bishop Richard Malone says he was relieved by the decision.
“We really are at a crossroads in our country right now with religious freedom and conscious rights under threat in many, many ways. It really came to a peak with the HHS (Health and Human Services) mandate, which would have required not only Catholic institutions like colleges and universities, but also individuals whose ethical values hold them back from getting involved in certain kinds of practices like funding abortion-inducing drugs and things like that," said Malone.
"It’s a great victory for our conscious and the First Amendment.”
Malone says the ruling is a victory for other religious groups, as well. He says it wasn’t just Catholics who disagreed with the mandate.
Justices voted 5-4 in favor of those companies being exempt from the mandate. Employees of businesses that opt out will now have to obtain birth control from other sources.