Zubik v. Burwell

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Determined whether non-profit organizations that have religious objections to contraception have the right to exclude coverage of contraception in their group health insurance plans.

Full Case Title: 

David A. Zubik v. Sylvia Burwell
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment


  • Reproductive Rights
  • Joined Amicus Brief


Despite the fact that churches and other houses of worship are not required to cover contraception in their group health insurance plans by meeting certain criteria, Petitioners claimed that the accommodation violates their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”). RFRA provides that the government “shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion”. The brief argued that the accommodation does not burden Petitioner’s religious exercise, and government should uphold the access to contraception for the sake of female employees.

Women’s access to contraception protects women’s health and promote gender equality, and the accommodation is the least restrictive means available to advance the government’s compelling interest of protecting female employees. The alternatives proposed by Petitioners would not be as effective and could even inflict harm on affected women. Therefore, we concluded that Petitioner’s proposals would impose significant costs, administrative burdens, and logistical obstacles on Petitioners’ female employees, students, and beneficiaries.