In today's bad news for women's rights (opens in new tab): Access to birth control just got even harder. The Supreme Court has ruled (opens in new tab) that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees.
Christian-owned craft supply chain Hobby Lobby sued the Obama administration (opens in new tab) earlier this year over the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, which requires most employers to cover the full range of contraception in their health care plans at no cost to their female employees—something pretty helpful for the roughly four out of every five women (opens in new tab) using birth control pills. The owners of the company (which has more than 10,000 full-time female employees) argued that while they don't oppose their employees' personal decisions, they don't want to be forced to help pay for certain methods of birth control that conflict with their religious beliefs.
In a 5-4 decision, the court sided with Hobby Lobby (opens in new tab), saying the Obama administration failed to show that the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act is the "least restrictive means of advancing its interest" in providing birth control at no cost to women.
Women Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, along with Justice Stephen Breyer, were all part of a dissenting opinion that said Congress had never intended to allow for-profit corporations to get religious-based exemptions. Ginsburg argued that the government has a "compelling interest" in providing no-cost birth control (opens in new tab) to women, stating, "The mandated contraception coverage enables women to avoid the health problems unintended pregnancies may visit on them and their children."
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, also voiced her opinion against the decision. "Today, the Supreme Court ruled against American women and families, giving bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage," she said in a statement. "This is a deeply disappointing and troubling ruling that will prevent some women, especially those working hourly-wage jobs (opens in new tab) and struggling to make ends meet, from getting birth control."
Photo Credit: Getty Images
I Spent Hours Scrolling Nordstrom's Spring Sale—These 31 Pieces Are Worth Your Money
By Brooke Knappenberger
This Protein Treatment Can Save Your Curl Definition In A Single Use
Your hair, only stronger.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
Khloé Kardashian Does Not "Miss Her Old Face," She'll Have You Know
She looks great, which is not a reason to apologize.
By Iris Goldsztajn
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The Secret to Having “It All”? A Society That Actually Supports Women
When asked how I “have it all,” I often cite my own hard work. But the truth is I had access to certain rights and privileges that are now under more attack than ever.
By Jo Piazza
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo