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Supreme Court Decision On Employers, Contraceptives Divides Chicagoans

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Derrick Blakley Derrick Blakley
Derrick Blakley is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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(CBS) – One side calls it a victory for religious freedom — the other, a setback for women’s rights.

Those are two views about Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that small, privately run companies aren’t required to provide contraceptives to women.

The Catholic owners of TRIUNE Health Group cheered the decision, saying they faced tough choices because the contraception mandate conflicted with their deeply held religious beliefs.

“We have to step back and say we cannot provide health benefits, we cannot take care of you or pay the fines, all of it would be destructive to the employees,” Christopher Yep says.

At a Daley Center rally, supporters called the ruling a victory for religious freedom.

“These deeply held religious beliefs are more important than the whims and the demands of the government,” Kara Mone said.

But others insist getting a job is not the same thing as joining a church.

“We believe in religious freedom also for employees, and employees should have the right to access basic preventative health care,” Carol Brite of Planned Parenthood of Illinois said.

That includes birth control, they say.

Planned Parenthood says women shut out of contraceptives by their employer-supplied insurance should come to them.

Those who hailed the high court ruling say no one’s freedom is truly limited.

“This is not restricting people from these services. It’s only saying I, as an employer, can dictate what I am going to do to take care of my employees,” Yep says.

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