I don’t know the legal answer to that question – if it has been squarely addressed before, but the Hobby Lobby case was argued to the Supreme Court today and the question came to mind again. The ACA requires that if a corporation provides compensation to its employees in the form of health insurance benefits that the insurance include, among other things, coverage for contraception. The owners of the shares in Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. oppose on religious grounds certain IUDs and pills that prevent impregnation of a fertilized egg into the uterus.
In my mind, corporations are incapable of belief and the religious beliefs of individuals are distinct from the religious beliefs of the corporations in which they have an ownership interest.
Corporations are a government created legal fiction designed to limit personal responsibility. There is obviously utility to the corporate structure. But, I don’t understand how religious beliefs can get through the corporate shield but personal liability cannot.
I could probably get behind allowing individual owners to abandon the corporate form and exercise their religious beliefs to avoid the contraception mandate if they felt that strongly about it. Or, better yet, go single payer and disassociate insurance and employment altogether.