(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court Tuesday temporarily halted implementation of the contraceptive mandate at the request of a religious nonprofit group called the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor decided Tuesday night to block the contraceptive portion of the Affordable Care Act, the remainder of which goes into effect on Wednesday. She gave the federal government until 10 a.m. on Friday to respond to her order.
Earlier in the day, a number of religious groups asked the Supreme Court to block the Affordable Care Act’s “contraception mandate,” which would have forced religious groups to allow their insurers to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion drugs to their employees.
The request came after an “accommodation” was made for religious nonprofit groups designating their insurers to give out the drugs as opposed to the groups themselves. While Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claimed that the accommodation showed respect for the “concerns of houses of worship and other nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage,” a number of those groups felt the accommodation didn’t go far enough.
The groups have argued that their religious beliefs not only prohibit them from providing abortion drugs, but also from allowing others to give out those drugs on their behalf.
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