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Monday, June 30, 2014 - 7:24pm
EL PASO (KDBC) — A decision from the nation's highest court is stirring debate in the Borderland over women's rights.
In a 5-4 ruling issued Monday, the Supreme Court decided some for-profit companies should not be forced to cover certain types of birth control for their employees if it goes against the corporation's religious beliefs.
National craft store chain Hobby Lobby was one of more than a dozen lawsuit plaintiffs leading the charge against a provision of the Affordable Care Act which requires employers to provide coverage for contraceptives.
At the center of the debate, the so-called "morning-after pill," which Hobby Lobby and the other plaintiffs equate with abortion.
Hobby Lobby has two El Paso locations and one in Las Cruces.
The founder of Stand With El Paso Women, a local women's group, called the decision a "slippery slope."
"I'm not sure where it stops," said Lyda Ness-Garcia. "You (as a company owner) could be a Jehovah's Witness and decide you don't want to cover blood transfusions, you could decide not to cover vaccinations. Scientologists could decide not to cover anti-depressants."
But anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life praised the ruling, calling it a win for religious freedom and companies' rights.
"Today is a critical victory for the Pro-Life movement," the group said in a statement. "Since President Obama's pro-abortion administration defined...drugs like Plan B as 'contraception' in the (ACA) mandate, this challenge was necessary."
Monday's decision seemed to be split along political ideologies with the justices appointed by Republican presidents siding with Hobby Lobby.