Tonawanda News

Opinion

July 3, 2014

Women's rights haven't come far enough

Tonawanda News — The recent Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby is what many believe is a blow to woman’s rights. 

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing certain contraception coverage under Obamacare. 

The four types of birth control at the center of Hobby Lobby’s case were: Plan B, which is also known as the “morning after pill,” Ella, another emergency contraceptive, Copper Intrauterine Device and IUD with progestin — forms of birth control that some believe can cause or are akin to abortion. The company can still provide coverage for the birth control pill, condoms and other forms of contraceptives, just not the forms they feel are similar to abortion.

“We doubt that the Congress that enacted (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) — or, for that matter, ACA — would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy.

The court’s four liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and said that it allows companies to “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The language emphasized the ruling applied to tightly-held corporations with the same person or family holding more than 50 percent of the stake in the company. But does that really matter? Even if the ruling does not apply to large corporations or public companies, it still means that there are companies out there that can discriminate against a woman based on her health care choices solely on their religious views. 

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