The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on a key challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The issue at hand is whether family-owned for-profit businesses can be forced to provide cost-free access to certain contraceptive coverage for employees, even if complying with the mandate violates the business owners’ religious beliefs.

The Affordable Care Act mandates that women who get employer-sponsored health plans receive the full range of contraceptives approved by the FDA at no extra charge.

Some businesses have sued over covering any form of birth control. But the two businesses involved in the Supreme Court case are willing to cover contraceptives except for drugs and devices that the government says may work after an egg has been fertilized.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. do not want to pay for emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, as well as two IUDs.

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby, which is owned by the Green family, has more than 15,000 full-time employees at more than 600 craft stores in 41 states. The Greens are evangelical Christians who say their “religious beliefs prohibit them from providing health coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices that end human life after conception."

Conesta Wood Specialties Corp. is based in East Earl, Pa., and is owned by a Menonite family. The business employs 950 people.

Both companies say they only oppose paying for birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus because they believe life starts at conception.

Lori Windham, of the Becket Fund, and Elizabeth Wydra, of the Constitutional Accountability Center, discussed the case on America’s News Headquarters today.

“This is unquestionably a religious exercise,” Windham said.

“It’s hard to square Hobby Lobby’s vision of the First Amendment with the way that it’s been practiced for the last more than 200 years,” Wydra argued.

Watch the video above for more.


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