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Decision On Birth Control May Echo

Publication Date: 
December 07, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Bob Egelko

Professor Michael McConnell comments on how religious beliefs have previously been dealt with as a possible exemption from government mandates for The San Francisco Chronicle. 

If a corporate employer can refuse on religious grounds to provide workplace insurance for contraception, what about employers with religious objections to blood transfusions or vaccinations? Or those who believe in healing by prayer?

Those questions lurk below the surface of the challenge the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review to regulations in the new federal health care law requiring employers to make contraceptive coverage available to their employees. That mandate, two groups of corporate owners argue, violates their freedom of religion.


Religious objections to specific health-care laws inevitably prompt unfounded warnings that they would lead to dangerous exemptions from a slew of government regulations, said Michael McConnell, a Stanford University law professor and former federal appeals court judge.