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Clear sides on contraception ruling

Following are reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision Monday that Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., because of their relgious objections, do not have to obey a federal mandate to provide employee insurance coverage for contraceptives:

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.: “Employers like Hobby Lobby should not be forced to take actions contrary to their moral and religious beliefs. While I celebrate today’s ruling, religious freedom remains under attack across our country. Whether it is faith-based Hoosier food banks and homeless shelters or the University of Notre Dame, we are seeing the free exercise of religion constrained and restricted in too many instances.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: “Health care decisions should be made by women and their doctors – not by their bosses.… If religious freedom is to mean anything, Americans must be able to have their own beliefs, rather than their employers’ beliefs imposed upon them. Corporations are not people.”

Cathie Humbarger, executive director, Allen County Right to Life: “In this case, Hobby Lobby will not have to offer drugs, like the morning after pill that can end a human life, to employees at the bidding of the government. The pro-life community is delighted with today’s decision because of implications for the unborn and religious liberty.”

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America: “Today’s decision from five male justices is a direct attack on women and our fundamental rights. This ruling goes out of its way to declare that discrimination against women isn’t discrimination.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize that Americans can continue to follow their faith when they run a family business. In this case, justice has prevailed.…”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director, the American Humanist Association: “This isn’t religious liberty – it’s religious intrusion that will negatively affect many hard-working Americans.”

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