Hobby Lobby Ruling on Birth Control Doesn’t Apply to Religious Groups, Feds Say

The Obama administration said Thursday that faith-based nonprofits should comply with Obamacare’s birth control mandate because they enjoy much greater leeway than the corporations that sued and won before the Supreme Court last year.

Government attorneys made their pitch to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after a pro-life ministry, Priests for Life, asked the court to reconsider a three-judge ruling that requires religious nonprofits to object, in writing, to regulations that require employer health care plans to insure contraceptives.

The group says the November decision contradicted the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, which said closely held corporations did not have to insure contraceptives that conflicted with their owners’ beliefs, particularly morning-after pills that some equate with abortion.

The justices cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which passed with bipartisan support and requires the government to achieve its aims in the least restrictive way possible.

But the administration said nonprofits should not expect the Hobby Lobby case to bail them out.