SCOTUS Fails Women
Hobby Lobby Decision Gives Bosses Right to Deny Women Birth Control: Puts the Burden on Women to Pay Increasing Costs –
June 30, 2014 – New York, NY – Today, the Supreme Court ruled that some private employers with religious objections can refuse to cover contraception for women employees. The court’s ruling struck down the birth control mandate for “closely held” corporations in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell. The private companies challenged the mandate of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to offer health insurance that covers all FDA approved forms of birth control without copayments.
President of NOW-NYC, Sonia Ossorio, said, “It’s a national embarrassment that with all of the knowledge we have today about the economic and public health benefits of birth control that our nation’s highest court has pushed back decades of progress for women’s health.”
Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties led the fight in the Supreme Court to secure a religious exemption for private corporations from being required to provide insurance coverage for birth control, holding that it infringed on the religious beliefs of the owners. The National Organization for Women – New York City (NOW-NYC) strongly supports the mandate for all employers, which ensures that women are able to access birth control without any additional out-of-pocket expenses. Prior to today’s decision, the law already allowed for exemptions for religious employers, such as churches and religiously affiliated groups.
NOW-NYC protested outside of Hobby Lobby in Poughkeepsie, New York in March, on the day oral arguments were heard. The women’s rights organization highlighted that bosses should not be in the business of deciding what healthcare services their employees can access. In today’s decision, the court established a specific exception for how birth control is treated by the mandate as opposed to other health care services.
Ossorio says, “This case sets a dangerous precedent. By calling out birth control as ‘different’ our nation’s highest court ignores medical evidence and practice that demonstrates birth control is fundamental health care.”
The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recognize contraception as basic preventative healthcare. The Centers for Disease Control hailed birth control as a breakthrough of the 20th century, and polls show that women voters and all Americans overwhelmingly agree. 99% of women use birth control at some point in their lives.
Contraception supports and improves the health of women and children by enabling them to plan the spacing and timing of their pregnancies. It is also used to prevent ovarian cysts and endometrial and ovarian cancers.
Ossorio says, “Today our Supreme Court ruled that the religious freedom and healthcare needs of tens of thousands of women matter less than the religious beliefs of corporations.”
Press Contact: Jean Bucaria, 212-627-9895 (o), 917-328-5543(m), firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Sign our letter to the Supreme Court to let them know that they do not speak for you and your healthcare.
2. Continue the conversation online with hashtags #iheartbc #NotMyBossBusiness and #hobbylobby
3. Change your Facebook and Twitter profile picture to the “I Heart My BC” logo (above) to stand with women and stand up for birth control. Share the reasons why you love your birth control with @NOW_NYC using hashtag #iheartbc
NOW-NYC Protests at Hobby Lobby – nownyc.org
Supreme Court Rules for Hobby Lobby, Corporate Religious Rights – RH Reality Check