The Supreme Court hears the case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores,Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius on Tuesday. What does that mean? What impact could it have on women’s health and more broadly for employees everywhere? We rounded up five stories from this week to sum up just what is at risk.
Roll Call: “Why We Are Fighting for the Birth Control Benefit” by Dana E. Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
With one-third of all American women living at “the brink of poverty,” according to the Shriver Report released in January, access to birth control is not just a health issue; it’s also an economic issue.
USA Today: “Obamacare Challenge Could Empower Discriminators” by Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign
As a matter of law, the corporations are asking the Court to dramatically upend the balance we've struck for generations to protect everyone's rights and liberties. In fact, this case would mark the first time in history that corporations would be given the right to exercise religion like people or churches do.
You should pay attention because, depending on how the high court rules, you could find yourself personally liable for things that happen in your business. The decision, which the justices will likely make this summer, could also overturn hard fought for anti-discrimination laws that have been in place for employees for 50 years.
Slate: “In Defense of Religious Liberty” by Emily Bazelon
“And when Congress passed RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] in response, it was about protecting potentially persecuted minorities. But now, in an amazing shift, it’s the most powerful religious organizations in the country that are invoking this law—the Catholic Church and Protestant evangelicals.”
Cosmopolitan: “Why the Hobby Lobby Case Before the Supreme Court Matters So Much for Women” by Heather Wood Rudulph
“Birth control is only a ‘social issue’ if you’ve never had to pay for it,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Women are forced to choose between groceries or filling their prescription, between paying the rent or choosing the form of birth control that’s right for them. The same birth control the owners of these corporations find objectionable is so controversial that 99 percent of women who have been sexually active have used it — including 98 percent of Catholic women.”