Political Notebook

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Coats, Stutzman protest contraception insurance rule

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, have opposed the federal health care law at every turn. So their rooting interest was no surprise Tuesday as the Supreme Court heard arguments about whether private companies can evade the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds.

In the case, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties contend their owners’ religious views should exempt them from having to provide to their employees medical insurance that pays for contraceptives.

“Freedom of religion is a core American principle, and we cannot pick and choose when to adhere to the Constitution and when to cast it aside in order to achieve political prerogatives,” Coats said in a statement. “I hope the Supreme Court will strike down the administration’s mandate and rescind this attack on religious freedom.”

Stutzman said in a statement: “This is not about birth control, it’s about government control. The First Amendment, the bedrock of our experiment in self-government, was meant to protect Americans from being forced to choose between practicing their faith and complying with government mandates.”

He also said the contraception mandate “presumes that religious Americans can believe whatever they want, as long as they don’t believe it at work. This is Big Government’s arrogance at its worst.”