Updated Monday, June 30, 2014, 1:45 p.m. EDT: President Barack Obama believes that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case “jeopardizes” women’s health and will press Congress to respond, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. He told reporters that the White House will “respect” the ruling but “will continue to look for ways to improve Americans’ health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.” He suggested, without going into detail, that Congress could take action to mitigate the effects of the ruling on women’s access to reproductive health, Politico reports.
In a decision issued Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the Affordable Care Act requirement that all employer-sponsored health insurance cover birth control in a ruling that “closely held corporations” may exclude contraceptive coverage from their insurance plans if including it would violate their religious beliefs, SCOTUS Blog reports.
The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, found that corporations in which five or fewer individuals own a majority of the company’s stock no longer have to include birth control in the health insurance packages they offer to their employees.
According to Vox, the birth control mandate is one of eight women’s preventive health benefits that the Affordable Care Act—popularly known as Obamacare—requires health plans to provide at no cost to the patient. Others include breast-feeding equipment, human papillomavirus testing and domestic violence screenings.