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in brief: US supreme court to hear challenge against healthcare plans including birth control

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The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge from corporations that believe the recent Affordable Care Act (ACA) shouldn’t provide access to free birth control including the pill and IUDs.

Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain, and Conestoga Wood, a cabinet manufacturer, are the two companies that are challenging the Act based upon their views that insurance plans shouldn’t cover birth control because it goes against their religious beliefs.

This has, of course, sparked outrage from feminist groups, especially the Feminist Majority Foundation, whose President, Eleanor Smeal stated that ‘religion should not be used as a cover for profit-making businesses to discriminate against women.’

The White House defended the Act, stating ‘as a general matter, our policy is designed to ensure that healthcare decisions are made between a woman and her doctor.’ Furthermore, House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said that when the court hears the case ‘the choice must be clear: healthcare decisions should be made by a woman … not by her boss.’

Nevertheless, on November 26, the court granted that the case will be heard.

A recent survey showed that 88% of American women agree that they should have access to safe birth control in order to prevent some painful conditions and to prevent unplanned births.

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