A 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel has blocked efforts by a Pennsylvania cabinetry company to avoid having to comply with the new federal contraceptive benefits mandate.

The panel held in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. et al. vs. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al. that the First Amendment protects the "free exercise of religion" only for human beings, not for corporations.

Circuit Judge Robert Cowen, nominated to the court by President Reagan in 1987, wrote in the majority opinion that he and Thomas Vanaskie recognize the owners of Conestoga Wood believe that "birth control methods that terminate a fertilized embryo are an intrinsic evil."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.