The White House on Wednesday insisted that Obamacare's contraception mandate struck the right “balance” after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor blocked provisions of the health law forcing organizations with religious ties to provide insurance plans that include contraceptives.
“We defer to the Department of Justice on litigation matters, but remain confident that our final rules strike the balance of providing women with free contraceptive coverage while preventing non-profit religious employers with religious objections to contraceptive coverage from having to contract, arrange, pay or refer for such coverage,” a White House official said Wednesday.
Sotomayor issued the temporary order just hours before the contraception mandate in the law would have gone into effect. The justice made the decision at the request of Catholic nuns in Denver, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged.
Sotomayor gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to her ruling.
The Supreme Court in March will hear a broader challenge to the contraception mandate from private companies. The nation's highest court will decide whether employers can opt out of the birth control requirement if they feel it violates their religious beliefs.
The Obama administration previously granted exemptions from the contraception mandate to churches and religious non-profits, but privately owned companies, including Hobby Lobby, argued they were being forced to comply with a law that violated their beliefs.