Narrow Victory for Hobby Lobby

By Steve Handelsman

Published 06/30 2014 04:21PM

Updated 06/30 2014 04:23PM

(NBC News)  The United States Supreme Court has ruled that for-profit companies can claim a religious exemption to the contraceptive insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act. 

It's a victory for Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood and dozens of other companies that sued,  arguing they cannot be forced to provide contraceptives that violate the company's religious beliefs. 

The companies argued morning after pills and I.U.Ds are akin to abortion by preventing fertilized eggs to implant. 

In a 5-4 decision, the court was careful to point out this decision does not allow companies to refuse to pay for other health coverage like blood transfusions and vaccines.

The government had argued that the free contraceptives in the health law are for all women, including those who work for religious for-profit companies.

"Withholding basic health care from woman is bigotry, plain and simple," National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill said after the deicsion was announced. "We should not accept it no matter how sincerely the belief is held."

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