Since November, at least eight lawsuits have been filed in federal district courts across the country challenging the constitutionality of the rule, which requires employers, including church-affiliated organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds, to cover birth control in workers’ health plans with no out-of-pocket charges. (Groups that are exclusively religious, such as churches, are exempt).
The plaintiffs include religiously affiliated schools, colleges, universities and charities, as well as a Catholic television network, two private citizens and the Republican attorneys general of six states.
Some Republicans predict the matter will ultimately be decided by the nation’s highest court. Speaking moments after the Senate voted down his attempt to expand the rule’s conscience exemption last Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) pointed in the direction of the Supreme Court as he declared: “This issue is not over. . . . These faith-based institutions will not be willing to change their character. . . . And so this is a debate that might be settled at that building across the street.”