Sioux Falls, SD (KELO AM) - Both of the major-party candidates for South Dakota’s Senate seat released statements today regarding the Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decision on employer health care funding for contraceptives. The decision states that companies do not need to cover the cost of birth control in their health care plans if the contraceptives are against the owner’s religious
According to Republican candidate Mike Rounds – “Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for business owners and for those who believe in religious freedom in America,” said the former Governor. “It’s encouraging to see that the Supreme Court agrees with our belief that this failed healthcare policy goes too far, and family business owners should not be forced to give up their constitutional liberties and religious freedom to comply with bad policy.”
His opponent in the November election, Democrat Rick Weiland offered a different view, saying the ruling is a giant step back for women’s rights. Weiland added that “(the) Supreme Court say that not only are corporations people but that their religious beliefs trump your access to adequate health care. It doesn't matter that their workers want and need proper health care. If [the corporations] don't want to provide it, now they don't have to.”
Late this morning South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said the state has joined together with 17 others to file a challenge of the decision. Jackley said "There is a continued unease that the federal takeover of healthcare infringes upon our individual and state rights."
The Supreme Court stressed that Monday’s decision affects only corporations that are under the control of a few owners where there is essentially no difference between the owners and the company.