The Best Responses To The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision
It has been a week since five men sitting on the Supreme Court decided that bosses should have the right to be able to interfere with a woman’s access to affordable birth control. In the Hobby Lobby case, the majority ruled 5-4 that owners of for-profit, secular businesses who have religious objections to birth control may defy federal rules requiring that they include contraceptive care in their employees’ health plans because it violates the employer’s religious liberty rights.
The time since has seen reactions of all kinds from across the country. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites:
- Federal Judge Blasts Hobby Lobby Decision: Supreme Court Should ‘STFU.’ Judge Richard George Kopf, a George H.W. Bush appointee to the federal bench who maintains his own personal blog, has some harsh words for the Supreme Court in the wake of their birth control decision in the closely watched Hobby Lobby case: “the Court is now causing more harm (division) to our democracy than good by deciding hot button cases that the Court has the power to avoid. As the kids says, it is time for the Court to stfu.”
- Clergy Protest Supreme Court By Handing Out Condoms At Hobby Lobby. “I’m just hoping that [people who see the demonstration] realize that this opinion [of Hobby Lobby’s owners] is not the opinion of religious people as a broad spectrum, but that religious people have many different opinions,” said Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, a Unitarian Universalist minister who was at the protest. Rev. Mark Winters, a United Church of Christ minister, added, “Jesus had a lot of issue with powerful people using power over the powerless.”
- The Birth Control That Hobby Lobby Won’t Cover Is Leading To A Drop In Teen Births. Teen births in Colorado have dropped by 40 percent over the past five years, thanks largely in part to a state program that provides affordable contraception to low-income women, the state’s governor announced late last week. The long-lasting birth control that’s being partially credited for the dramatic decline is the same contraceptive method at the center of Hobby Lobby’s recent Supreme Court case.
- Two Reasons It’s Too Soon To Panic Over The Supreme Court’s Latest Birth Control Order. An odd Supreme Court order, handed down just four days after the Court’s bombshell opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby raises serious concerns that Hobby Lobby could be even worse for women seeking birth control that was originally apparent. Yet, while these concerns are very real — real enough that all three of the Court’s women joined a blistering dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticizing the Court’s order — it is too soon to conclude with certainty that the Court will follow Thursday’s order in a case known as Wheaton College v. Burwell with the expansion of Hobby Lobby Sotomayor warns about in her dissent. The Wheaton College order should unnerve anyone who believes that a woman’s reproductive health is none of her boss’s business. But it is also far from the Court’s final word on this matter.
- Ginsburg Got It Right: Poor Women Are Getting Screwed By Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby objects to covering two types of emergency contraception and two forms of intrauterine devices (IUDs), incorrectly asserting that those birth control methods can cause abortions. And even though Hobby Lobby supporters argue that women can just pay for their own birth control, footing the full cost of these particular contraceptives is no small feat for women who are struggling to make ends meet. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out in her scathing dissent to the 5-4 decision, “the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.”
BOTTOM LINE: Religious liberty is the right to practice religion as you wish and the freedom to not have religion imposed on you by others, especially corporations. Despite the unfortunate ruling last week, supporters of women’s rights are already starting to fight back in creative ways.