What Does Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law Mean For Health Care?
Executive Director Holly Fernandez Lynch spoke on the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision at the Petrie-Flom Center's Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review in January 2015. In this new piece at the Health Affairs Blog, she discusses the ways in which Indiana's controversial new Religious Freedom Restoration Act uses the Supreme Court's logic in the Hobby Lobby case and how the new law will impact health care in Indiana. From the piece:
By now, we’ve all heard the commotion around Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act(RFRA), although it appears that the public’s fickle attention has already moved on to other matters. Despite some headlines to the contrary, the law originally said nothing explicitly about discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It focused exclusively on religious freedom, allowing the government to impose a substantial burden on “any exercise of religion” only if it is able to demonstrate that burdening the person in question is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest.
In line with the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hobby Lobby, which held that corporations are persons capable of exercising religion, the Indiana law defines “person” to include individuals, organizations organized for religious purposes, and business entities that “may sue and be sued” and exercise “practices that are compelled or limited by a system of religious belief held by: (i) an individual; or (ii) the individuals; who have control and substantial ownership of the entity, regardless of whether the entity is organized or operated for profit or nonprofit purposes.”abortion conscience contraception health law policy holly fernandez lynch regulation religion