In 2012, the Obama administration required many employee and student health plans to cover “all FDA-approved contraceptives,” including some that can cause abortions. If a plan sponsor refused to comply, it would face crippling IRS fines.
A number of religious business owners challenged the mandate and prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell in 2014. The administration created an alternative method of complying with the mandate for non-profit religious organizations that objected to providing contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as part of their employee and student healthcare coverage. The administration claimed it was addressing religious organizations’ moral objections.