The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the Trump administration’s appeal in a legal fight over religious exemptions for ObamaCare’s requirement that employer-based health plans cover birth control.
The administration is seeking to expand exemptions for religious objectors to the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “contraceptive mandate.”
It will mark the third time the Supreme Court has heard a case regarding the mandate, a controversial provision of ObamaCare that has been fiercely opposed by conservatives and religious groups for years.
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a nationwide injunction issued by a lower court blocking the rule from taking effect.
The rule would allow most businesses to claim a religious exemption to the mandate and opt out of covering contraception for their employees.
Rules issued by the Obama administration already provided exemptions for religiously-affiliated organizations. But the Trump rule would also allow exemptions for almost all other businesses, including nonprofits, for-profit companies, higher education institutions and other non-government employers.
Civil rights groups argue the rules would essentially let employers discriminate against employees who use birth control.
“Allowing employers and universities to use their religious beliefs to block employees’ and students’ birth control coverage isn’t religious liberty — it’s discrimination,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.