In Frederick County, businesses and organizations are considering the ramifications of Monday’s Supreme Court decision that allows some companies to ignore a part of President Barack Obama’s health care law for religious reasons.

Mount St. Mary’s University President Thomas H. Powell said he has been following the case that argued whether businesses must provide contraceptives to women.

“This is such a silly debate for the government to have with us because Catholic institutions have been the leaders in providing health care,” he said. 

As an employer, the university’s health care plans do not cover contraceptives.

“People are free to get contraceptives,” he said. “We just don’t want to be providing it.”

The university is not required to provide employees with health care that includes contraceptive coverage because the school is grandfathered in, he said. As long as the school does not change its health insurance, it may leave contraceptive coverage out of its plan.

“We have not heard that to be an issue for any of our employees,” Powell said.

Powell said he believes that the cost of contraceptives, without compensation from a health care plan, is manageable for employees. 

“They’re probably going to pay for it themselves,” he said.

Multiple organizations and businesses threw their support behind either side of the argument. The Knights of Columbus, locally represented by St. John’s Council No. 1622 of Frederick, chose to support Hobby Lobby — the company that argued the case all the way to the high court. 

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori said in a statement that he supported the court’s decision because it allows the involved business owners to abide by their faith without facing fines for not providing health care.

Cindy Miller, vice president of marketing and communications for the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, said the decision has an impact on its members and employees, but did not have the opportunity to thoroughly discuss the case with staff by the end of the day Monday.

Miller said it is “likely” that the chamber will hold informational sessions about the decision as the effects of the decision become clear.

The Affordable Care Act requires specific employers’ group health plans to provide preventive care and screenings for women, including birth control, at no cost to the woman.

“Religious employers, such as churches, are exempt from this contraceptive mandate,” the ruling states.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby determined that certain corporations did not have to provide birth control in the group health plans they offer to employees. 

Follow Sylvia Carignan on Twitter: @SylviaCarignan.

(34) comments


No employer should decide for the employee.

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Ortensia you need to research your quotes better in fact there is documentation that your quote is misattributed to this woman.

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How dare I be condescending to someone who is so clearly superior.

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Dot com websites are not created to spread information, they are created to make money. So go to that dot com website and make your donation so they can keep spreading the lies you are lapping up.

We Must Fight Together

Religous beliefs are going to destroy our world.

We Must Fight Together

What does "seperation of church and state" really mean?


If women stop shopping at Hobby Lobby this will go away.


The good thing about this ruling is it's a 5-4 ruling which will be challenged and reversed.


"...Catholic institutions have been the leaders in providing health care,”

Not all kinds of health care.

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But business owners who oppose vaccinations and blood transfusion are denied the free exercise of their religious beliefs.

Were it not for Onan who forsake his duty as a brother and spilt his seed on the ground this issue wouldn't even be in the Bible.

So now we give permission to the master to forsake his duty to the servant to provide healthcare to stop the servant from spilling his seed on the ground.


Bad reporting. Very lazy. The ruling allows Hobby Lobby to opt out of 4 out of 20 forms of contraception, not contraception altogether. The justices went out of their way to make the ruling narrow, granting this due to the fact that Hobby Lobby was not publicly traded, family owned and the religious beliefs were sincere and latent from the establishment of the company.


Religious beliefs are sincere only when a person is free o chose them or leave them. The owners can decide for themselves and only for themselves. The benefits they give should be unrestricted with the pay they give.


Hobby Lobby -- now free to drop emergency "morning after" pills and intrauterine devices from its workers' health insurance plans -- has given no indication that it plans to stop helping its male employees obtain erectile dysfunction treatments.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the craft store chain, owned by evangelical Christians, doesn't have to pay for health care coverage of contraceptives prohibited by its owners' religion.

But pills and pumps that help a man stiffen his penis in preparation for sex are perfectly acceptable.

Last year, a federal court granted Catholic groups the right to opt out of providing coverage for contraceptives that they equated with abortion or sterilization, such as IUDs and vasectomies. But the groups were happy to foot the bill for treatments that could lead to procreation.

Julie Rovner, a reporter at NPR, wrote a blog post in February 2012 explaining where Catholic groups drew the line on sexual health coverage:

The answer on Viagra coverage is usually yes, Catholic leaders say. And they argue that's neither hypocritical nor sexist. Procreation is something the Catholic church encourages. And Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs can be of help.

Evangelical Christians have long argued that life begins at conception, and therefore that medical procedures that disrupt the first stages of pregnancy amount to murder. In the case of Hobby Lobby, this extends to a woman taking pills such as Plan B, Next Choice or Ella, any of which would prevent her ovaries from releasing an egg that could be fertilized after unprotected sex.

Perhaps taking a note from Catholic Church's opposition to sterilization, Hobby Lobby also objected to long-term birth control methods such as IUDs, which can cost women up to $1,000.

But that does not explain why Hobby Lobby doesn't object to covering the cost of its male employees' vasectomies...Hobby Lobby could not be reached for comment....wonder why?

Men can practice birth control and the women can' it.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen...ladies well you don't have it but gentlemen you will always have the ability to make a baby and or not make a baby...way to go, high five for all the men out there.


When I stand on the hill behind my property where I used to see green fields and leafy glens all I see now are squares covered with shingles and paved driveways with multiple cars and pick-ups. My bucolic countryside is now a people infested jungle. If you want to know what this will look like when your grand kids grow up, just drive through east baltimore sometime. I am thinking china's forced abortions, birth controls and limits on family size is not a bad idea.


Some demented argument right there.


Truly. Look into the effects of China's one-child policy and you will see drawbacks. Visit a few boy-heavy classrooms. Return for a "homeland tour" with your China born adopted child and part of the prep is warning of the incidence of kidnapping intended brides for girl-starved regions. Want to ensure raising a bratty self-involved adult? Four devoted grandparents without any hope of other grandkids is the best beginning. Don't get me started. Too late.


jacksback suffers from being stuck in the past. Progress, baby, progress if you can't embrace it go somewhere else.


maybe you should go live in Rockville instead of trying to turn Frederick into it


Recently visited Rockville and from high up in a high rise office building the view beyond is quite bucolic and seems to go on for miles. High rises with picture windows were invented for the nostalgic.


In the US, white death rates are closing in on exceeding births, so you Margaret Sanger culture of death fans can take some sick satisfaction from that. Unbridled immigration drives the birth rate in the US, and the future will probably look more like Brasil's favelas in some areas, Chinatowns in others.


Margaret Sanger opposed abortion. She promoted contraception. Anyone who uses the phrase "culture of death" ought to regard Sanger as a personage worthy of emulation. That also goes for people who support freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Sanger championed all those issues.


She also wanted to cherry pick those she considered undesirable, specifically blacks, to keep their numbers low. She was a eugenicist; do you not find that troubling?

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Yes I do find it troubling that prolifers have to rewrite history trying to give themselves a better footing in modern times.

This womans writings and journals have been reviewed by scholars and their conclusions do not support your allegations.

Just means the prolife position is without merit and it is a desparite attempt at making some.


“Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” A quote from Margaret Sanger.

No need to rewrite anything when we have her own words; words from a woman pixie-dust would have us believe worthy of emulation.

Have you seen the photo of Sanger with the hooded Klansmen? She lectured at a KKK rally, and was very well received, as her vision dovetailed quite nicely.


The KKK meme ~ Yes, Sanger spoke to anyone and everyone about using birth control. In this case, it was a woman's auxiliary of a KKK chapter. And she was well-received -- by women who wanted to stop having so many babies (I presumed these women were white and would have had white babies but your information may be different.).

Also, FWIW, the KKK in the 1920s (when Sanger spoke to the KKK ladies) was mostly about restricting immigration. It was the sort of organization that would be comfortable to someone who wrote "Unbridled immigration drives the birth rate in the US, and the future will probably look more like Brasil's favelas in some areas, Chinatowns in others."


Redux, I assumed it didn't require a gloss. Look, abortion would not have publicly promoted at that time, it was anathema, considered horrific by the vast majority-- because it is murder and murder is horrific. It is precisely due to Sanger and her ilk's attitudes toward life that the natural aversion to abortion has eroded by increment, over the years, in tandem with moral decay in post-Christian America. Yes, I know that is cause for celebration among church-haters here. "Be careful what you wish for" springs to mind.

If you find eugenics only mildly troubling I don't think we have much common ground.

Some people don't like eugenics when Nazis do it, but cheer when "nice" ladies in hats from Westchester promote it. They do it because they "care".

But I get it. “In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber.” Flannery O'Connor


Yes, unbridled immigration is changing the demographic makeup, and no, your assumption is incorrect. I was responding to the OP's "East Baltimore" projection, which I think will likely not be what most areas will resemble, but it's all speculation.

Sanger felt Southern Europeans (among others) were mentally inferior, and I'm sure the anti-Catholic KKK ladies happily lapped that up.

I've read back and forth about the provenance of that quote; I believe it authentic, but even if apocryphal, it accurately reflects her perspective. Never heard of Black Genocide website; you're rather condescending, but I guess I am a bit foolish for debating eugenics boosters.

My garden is calling me...



I did my military training at Fort Holabird in Dundalk (East Baltimore) and found it charming. The neighborhoods were strong and active.


I just wonder if these organizations that don't want to provide contraceptives - do provide viagra and other such drugs as part of their plans?


Yes Viagra is still covered...


This story couldn't be further from the truth. Hobby Lobby provides a health care plan that includes 16 different kinds of contraceptives. What they didn't want to do was to provide the morning after pill and three other types of abortion related methods which violated there sincere religous beliefs. So how about digging a little deeper next time and don't believe every thing you hear on MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or in the FNP.

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Sincere religious beliefs as opposed to insincere religious beliefs.

A fertilized ovum doesn't have a nervous system so it doesn't feel pain. These products weren't even unlawful in Texas.


They don't want to support abortion but buy most of their cheap imported goods from China, a country that has forced abortion as the law to sell to the anti-abortion Christians in America. Thats about as hypocritical as you can get.


In some provinces a second and even third child is permissable with a penalty fee. Let's be fair. My daughter's (Chinese birthplace) city is a "model city" for the one-child policy with 100% compliance, so there are places definitely not to live in if you hope for a large family, true. But forced abortion never was everywhere and it is my understanding change is coming. The unintended results of the cultural preference for boys is painfully obvious.

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