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Adventist Church 'encouraged' by Supreme Court’s ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision

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Adventist Church 'encouraged' by Supreme Court’s ‘Hobby Lobby’ decision

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that corporations can hold religious objections allowing them to opt out of new federal requirements that their health insurance coverage includes contraceptives for women. [photo: Pond5]

Top U.S. court affirms 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act

June 30, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | ANN Staff

Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division said they are “encouraged” that today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which safeguards broad religious liberty protections.

In a 5-4 decision, the court today ruled that “closely held” companies can opt out of federal healthcare mandates to provide contraceptive coverage to employees based on religious liberty.

In a statement, Church leaders said today’s decision in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was one of the most anticipated cases this term in which religious liberty and the right to healthcare collided.

The court’s ruling was the result of appeals by two family owned, for profit companies—Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Woods Specialties—that objected to providing certain forms of birth control as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The question for the Court was whether these companies could claim an exemption from this requirement under the First Amendment and the RFRA.  

The Adventist Church has long promoted health and religious liberty for people of all faiths, and Adventists were strong advocates for the passage of the RFRA in 1993.

The statement said that while “contraception is an important goal of the ACA, it is one the government can reach without forcing family-held companies from violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Click HERE to see the full statement.

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