I am writing with great concern in response to the US Supreme Court Hobby Lobby/ Conestoga Wood Case decision, which exempts for-profit businesses from covering employee birth control costs. As a public health advocate, and a female, I fear what impact this will have on women across the country. I fear for women who rely on birth control coverage from employers, and who do not make enough money to supplement their health-care costs (like Hobby Lobby cashiers!). The law protects my right as a woman to decide when, how, and with whom I decide to start my family. No person, yet alone boss, should be able to interfere with a woman’s access to affordable birth control. The fight is not over.
I want to emphasize religious liberty. While religious liberty means the freedom to practice religion openly, it also means the freedom to not have religion imposed on you by others. These businesses are not churches. They have no religious affiliation. The boss’ religious viewpoints are not his employees’. Yet, he is still hypocritically imposing his beliefs on others. By practicing religious liberty he is violating religious liberty.
Where is the line? These same religious viewpoints can validate turning away gay customers, or objecting to vaccines and HIV/AIDS treatment. This unwise decision has made way for backsliding in the future. Birth control is essential health care. In fact, 90% of women will use contraception during their lives. It is only logical that it should be treated like other preventive medical care. Take that away and get ready for an outdated and expensive future. It’s simple: my health, my decision.The fight is most certainly not over.
See the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health Statement: Statement on Supreme Court Decision on ACA Contraceptive Coverage