On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that certain companies with religious objections can opt out of a mandate under the Affordable Care Act to provide free contraception to their employees.
The 5-4 ruling involved a case brought by two companies owned by Christian families: Hobby Lobby, a chain of hobby stores, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which makes wood cabinets. The companies opposed providing certain types of contraception that they believe is equivalent to inducing abortion, including morning-after pills and IUDs. (They didn’t oppose other methods of birth control.) They based their case on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Bill Clinton.
The issue arose because birth control is included among the free preventative services mandated by President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health care law. Houses of worship and religious institutions were already exempt from this aspect of the law. The court’s ruling applies to "closed corporations" which are in control by a few people, rather than public companies with many shareholders.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, stating that women who work for these corporations can still access these types of birth control either by the federal government paying for it or through a third-party administrator.
Though the ruling was narrower in scope than it could have been, supporters of broad access to contraception expressed disappointment. One of these supporters was U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair from South Florida. In a statement attacking the decision, Wasserman Schultz said that contraception for women isn’t just about avoiding pregnancy.
"Nearly 60 percent of women who use birth control do so for more than just family planning," she said.
We fact-checked Wasserman's claim and rated it Mostly True.
We're fact-checking a few other claims from the case and will update this story as we complete them.