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'Hobby Lobby' case draws cheers and jeers in Colorado Springs

June 30, 2014 Updated: June 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm
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photo - Demonstrator react to hearing the Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Demonstrator react to hearing the Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) 

Colorado religious-based groups hailed Monday's Supreme Court decision on contraceptives, framing it as more of a victory for religious freedom than against birth control.

But an official with one Colorado Springs nonprofit focused on women called it "ridiculous."

Monday's 5-4 decision, which allows companies with religious objections to avoid the contraceptives requirement in the Affordable Care Act, drew a mix of celebration and deep frustration across the Pikes Peak region, and largely split Colorado lawmakers on Capitol Hill along partisan lines.

The Christian-based organization Focus on the Family tried to downplay the issue of contraceptives, calling it "the topic of the day" and noting that only a handful of birth control methods were in dispute.

"The biggest question in this case was, do people forfeit their religious freedom when they start a business?" said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family. "And the Supreme Court said no."

But Melissa Marts, executive director of the Women's Resource Agency, said the ruling deals a blow to women's rights.

"For women, this is just such an important choice that women have in their lives, to be able to have access and choice around what they do with their reproductive rights," said Marts, whose nonprofit helps women gain independence by offering job counseling and other services. "And to have that limited based on where you work is kind of frustrating. It's just going to tell women that you have to be more empowered to take care of yourself."

If anything, Monday's ruling left many questions unresolved - particularly for nonprofits with a religious affiliation. Monday's decision affects only for-profit companies, leaving several lawsuits unresolved. In one case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary stay in December to a group of Colorado nuns, Little Sisters of the Poor, from the Affordable Care Act's requirement to offer contraceptives. That case is still working its way through the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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