Help Fix What Hobby Lobby Broke: Tell Your Senators to Protect Women’s Access to Birth Control
July 9, 2014
Federal lawmakers today formally responded to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. with a bill designed to guarantee working women’s access to birth control.
On June 30, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations have a right, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), to refuse to provide birth control coverage in employee health care plans, which had been mandated under the Affordable Care Act.
Trying to repair the damage done by the Court, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) today introduced the “Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014.“The bill states that employers cannot refuse to cover any health coverage – including contraceptive coverage – promised to employees and their dependents under federal law. It includes the exemption for houses of worship and the accommodation for religious non-profits already put into place by the Obama administration.
We at the Center for Inquiry believe that the Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby requires lawmakers to address the root cause of the problem: that RFRA may now be interpreted to grant for-profit corporations broad religiously based exemptions, such as from anti-discrimination laws. But we also believe that this bill is a necessary short-term fix which will ensure millions of women do not lose access to birth control simply because of their bosses’ religious beliefs.
Women must have the ability to make their own reproductive choices without interference from religious members of society who believe their beliefs trump other individuals’ personal freedoms.