The whole point of the article is the First Amendment angle. Is there no limit to your First Amendment rights when they start adversely affecting the lives of other people?
Who is being adversely affected by an employer deciding the terms of their health care plan or whether they will offer one at all? You're not forced to work there, and you can also opt out of their plan and buy your own.
You might be adversely affected if your job requires manual labor vs. a desk job too. Once again, it's your choice to work there or not.
Since this whole level of health care regulation is a massive, unnecessary, unwarranted government overreach to begin with, any kind of bedrock constitutional principles should naturally take precedence over it. This is a case where any judge worth his salt should err on the side of the constitution.
Under this system of federal health care regulation, a system to which constitutional limits apparently do not apply, what is there to stop the government from requiring that all females are circumcised?
Stupid question in these days when (un)crowded movie theatres all have fire suppression.
In a word.........NO.
The purpose of this HHS mandate is not to pay for access to contraceptives, which could hardly be more accessible if they were put in every bag of M&M's in America. The purpose of the HHS mandate is to esablish that the State can trump First Amendment rights for any one, at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
First Amendment rights are limited when there is a direct adverse effect on other people - like shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. The choice of a business owner to offer or not offer specific employment benefits should not even require First Amendment protection. Note that there is no discrimination in the particular example of whether or not a health insurance plan covers abortion related medications. If anything, the plan discriminates against men since they don't get the same benefit.
Private health insurance plans have a variety of limitations and covered and non-covered items. Why is the government involved in this at all? There is no harm to the employee from not getting many particular benefits, since they may never even use it, and in this particular example the cost of the medicine in question is minimal, and the "benefit" not being offered to the employees is, taken over the whole of the employees, negligible. Nobody that is employed needs insurance to protect themselves from a $50.00 risk.
Put another way, the government is proposing millions of dollars of fines because the employer won't agree to pay for a $50.00 pill that some small percentage of its 13,000 employees may rarely buy. Assuming half of its employees are men, 6,500 employees could potentially use a morning after pill. But of the women, no doubt some are too old to need such a thing, and many are married and also not as likely to be interested in a morning after pill. Some women of course are already using birth control. So for the men, the benefit being "denied" is of no personal value. For the women, it is the probability that they need or want the morning after pill times its cost. Overall I doubt you can show any harm to any employee from the lack of the benefit, and hence logically there is no reason to compel insurance for it.
But that's not the logic behind the law. The goal of the law is to force acceptance of a particular political viewpoint advocated by liberal Democrats, using huge fines as the hammer to force people to give up their values and viewpoint.
Nice dodge, yourself. Since when do the demands of an employee, who has voluntarily taken a position with a company, mean that the company’s officers are required to violate their first amendment rights?
The key fact you are glossing over is that the employees have the right to self-terminate their employment and seek employment elsewhere, at a company that will provide such coverage.
Contraception and abortifacients are not found in the constitution.
But there's no "adversely affecting" going on here: in a world where health insurance is not mandatory/regulated the employee is free to sign up with an employer who offers the health insurance he wants, not take health insurance, or purchase his own. -- So, no, not in this case.
Your counter point would work if we lived in a Society that dictated who you were “required” to work for.
You know, kind of like North Korea. Don’t comply, let them Mortar you to death.
As my Father once told me, you can complain about a job the day they point a gun to your head and make you take it.