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Utah Planned Parenthood Reacts to Justices' Hobby Lobby Ruling

PHOTO: Hobby Lobby will not have to pay for insurance coverage for certain contraception procedures for its employees following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Monday. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.
PHOTO: Hobby Lobby will not have to pay for insurance coverage for certain contraception procedures for its employees following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued Monday. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court.
July 1, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY - Family-planning advocates in Utah are reacting to Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that favors Hobby Lobby in its objection, on religious grounds, to paying for insurance coverage for certain contraceptive procedures for its employees under the Affordable Care Act.

The five-to-four ruling determined companies do not have to cover the cost of the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs) for their employees.

Karrie Galloway, CEO at the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, says the ruling could force Hobby Lobby employees to pay for birth control out of their own pockets.

"A woman without insurance coverage could pay anywhere from $40 to $50 a month for a cycle of birth control," says Galloway.

Hobby Lobby sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires businesses to pay for their employees' birth control. Hobby Lobby says it considers that equal to abortion. The retailer argued the ACA violated its religious beliefs, protected under federal law.

Galloway says despite the Supreme Court ruling, women working at Hobby Lobby and any other company are guaranteed no-cost contraception under the ACA. She adds that contraception is a vital issue for the vast majority of women.

"Anywhere up to 99 percent of women have used a form of contraception at some point in their life," says Galloway.

She notes women can always access birth control through organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT