Health and Science

Supreme Court takes up religious objections to Obamacare

Mercy Cabrera (L), an insurance agent with Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, helps Amparo Gonzalez purchase an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act at the store setup in the Westland Mall in Hialeah, Florida.
Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to consider religious objections made by corporations to a provision of the 2010 federal health-care law requiring employers to provide insurance that covers birth control.

The so-called contraception mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires employers to provide insurance policies that include preventive services for women that include access to contraception and sterilization.

President Barack Obama believes the U.S. Supreme Court will back a provision of the healthcare law requiring employers to provide insurance that covers birth control, the White House said on Tuesday.

(Read more: No Thanksgiving break for Obamacare tech workers)

"We believe this requirement is lawful and essential to women's health and are confident the Supreme Court will agree,'' the White House said in a statement issued shortly after the court said it would consider the cases, brought by companies whose owners opposed the law on religious grounds.

The key question before the court is whether corporations should be treated the same as individuals when making free exercise of religion claims under the First Amendment and a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

—By Reuters