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100 Companies Fight Birth-Control Mandate - Do You Know Which Ones?

PHOTO: Hobby Lobby is just one of 100 organizations challenging the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers include birth control in the many preventive services covered by health plans. Photo courtesy of NOW.
PHOTO: Hobby Lobby is just one of 100 organizations challenging the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers include birth control in the many preventive services covered by health plans. Photo courtesy of NOW.
March 17, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - While many people have heard of the high-profile case on mandated birth control coverage, soon to go before the U.S. Supreme Court involving the retailer Hobby Lobby, it's less well known that dozens of similar cases are pending nationwide. Some 100 organizations have filed lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employers cover birth control in their health plans.

According to National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill, what these companies are doing amounts to legalized discrimination under the guise of "religious freedom."

"It didn't work in the 1960s when we overcame Jim Crow and segregation in the deep South," O'Neill declared. "It does not work today when people use religion to explain homophobic policies, and it shouldn't work with women's access to birth control."

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case on March 25. The full list of companies that have filed suit against the federal government is available at NOW.org.

O'Neill said the list, which the National Organization for Women has dubbed "The Dirty 100," encompasses a wide range of for-profit and non-profit groups, and includes everything from religious organizations to grocery stores and car dealerships. But she sees one common factor among them.

"The vast majority of these people are men that have never woken up in the morning and worried about missing a period."

O'Neill said she feels it is important that people familiarize themselves with the list so that they can make informed choices. While churches and other houses of worship are exempt from the mandate, for-profit companies such as Hobby Lobby are not.

The National Organization for Women is planning rallies outside the Supreme Court in Washington and in many cities across the country on March 25.

The "Dirty 100" list is at NOW.org.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI