Local businesses impacted by SCOTUS ruling on contraceptives

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Company owners whose religious beliefs go against contraception do not have to provide it after the U.S. Supreme Court sided with well-known Hobby Lobby Monday.

Randy Reed is the president of Reed Automotive in Kansas City, Mo., and has been for 25 years. He told a 41 Action News reporter Monday that he has never provided any form of birth control to his female employees.

"I remember 1973 when Roe V. Wade happened,” he said. "In America, should our government be able to force us to do things that we feel like are immoral or maybe violate our conscience based on our religious beliefs?"

Reed said this is best for his company based on the family's Christian religious convictions. Reed Automotive, and thousands of others like it, are "closely owned" - meaning it is managed by 50 or fewer shareholders, usually family.

The ruling was somewhat of a black eye to the Affordable Care Act. The decision overrides a provision that required employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Companies like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood have been at the forefront of the debate. They sued because owners did not want to be forced to pay for contraceptives they believe are akin to abortion like the morning after pill and IUD's.

A close 5-4 decision Monday came down in just under 100 pages. Critics marched on Capitol Hill in strong opposition.

"Where do you draw the line of what acceptable religious beliefs can veto what health care needs. If I have a boss that believes smoking is a sin, is my lung cancer treatment not covered?" female activist Michelle Kinsey Bruns asked.

The court was careful to say this ruling does not allow companies to refuse to pay for other health coverage.

Attorney Rebecca Randles also weighed in. She said there is a significant amount of language in the bill that could affect a lot of different topics. For example, how much identity does a corporation have.

"Are they really, exactly people? Are we giving corporations the same status as people? This is one of those cases that beyond the debate about abortion, it raises the issue of just how far are we going to allow corporations to set themselves up as people," Randles said.

Randles believes it will be at least a year before we see more cases surrounding this decision.

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