It is a sad day for women’s rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers can decide whether or not to cover their employees birth control and contraception.
On Monday, June 30, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 that employers are not responsible for covering their employees birth control through company health insurance if it goes against the company owner’s religious beliefs. Should religious freedom be allowed to interfere with women’s rights?
U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Employer-Covered Birth Control
Wow. This is very surprising.
The United States Supreme court has ruled that an employer can decide whether or not their employees have access to birth control through their health insurance.
On Monday, June 30, the court ruled 5-4 that if birth control and contraception goes against a closely-held company’s religious beliefs, they can decide not to cover it through the health insurance they offer their employees.
Not surprisingly, Republican and Democrat politicians had very different views on this upsetting outcome.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision makes clear that the Obama administration cannot trample on the religious freedoms that Americans hold dear,” Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told MSNBC.
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed his concern about women’s rights to appropriate health care and contraception due to this ruling.
“Today’s decision jeopardizes women’s access to essential health care. Employers have no business intruding in the private health care decisions women make with their doctors. This ruling ignores the scientific evidence showing that the health security of millions of American women is strengthened by access to these crucial services.”
Shortly after the ruling, the White House commented on the ruling, stating:
“As millions of women know first hand, contraception is often vital to their health and well being. That’s why the Affordable Care Act ensures that women have coverage for contraceptive care, along with other preventive care like vaccines and cancer screenings. We will work with congress to make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else. President Obama believes strongly in the freedom of religion, that’s why we’ve taken steps to ensure that no religious institution will have to pay or provide for contraceptive coverage. We believe that the owners of for-profit companies should not be able to assert their personal religious views to deny their employees federally mandated benefits. We will of course respect this supreme court ruling, and we will continue to look for ways to improve Americans health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.”
The controversial decision has sparked outrage throughout the nation, with many women’s rights organizations claiming that employers can now impose their religious beliefs upon them.
Hobby Lobby Under Fire For Fight Against Contraception
The fight against birth control made headlines in 2013 when the privately owned Hobby Lobby franchise objected offering it’s employees birth control through their insurance plan.
Hobby Lobby’s stance against birth control cited “religious freedom” as their defense, and unfortunately low-level courts were not able to come to a decision.
The case was then brought to the Supreme Court, which is where it was decided that Hobby Lobby — and other privately-owned companies — would win their fight against being legally mandated to offer cover their employees birth control.
Tell us your thoughts, HollywoodLifers — Do you agree with the ruling, or is it going too far? What’s your stance on women’s rights? Let us know your thoughts below.
— Lauren Cox