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First Lady: Because of SCOTUS ruling, contraception is free

The Washington Examiner – June 29, 2012 – Joel Gehrke

First Lady Michelle Obama hailed the Obamacare ruling as “a victory for families all across this country,” but in the process highlighted the contraception mandate, which is still under litigation and sparked protest around the country.

“[Y]ou can tell them that today’s Supreme Court decision was truly a victory for families all across this country,” Mrs. Obama said at a campaign fundraiser this afternoon. “You can tell people how, because of this reform — help them understand — insurance companies will have to cover preventative care, things like contraception, cancer screenings, prenatal care without any extra cost.”

But the contraception mandate is still the subject of multiple lawsuits. “Never in history has there been a mandate forcing individuals to violate their deeply held religious beliefs or pay a severe fine, a fine which could force many homeless shelters, charities, and religious institutions to shut their doors,” said Hannah Smith, senior counsel for religios liberty at The Becket Fund, which filed a lawsuit against the mandate on behalf of Belmont Abbey College.

The ruling today should guarantee that the outrage of the Roman Catholic Church, which initially seemed supportive of Obamacare, continues — with the possible election effects that entails. ““[U]nless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so),” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a January letter.