SCOTUS DECISION: Corporations Have Religious Liberty, Women Do Not In Choosing Birth Control

supreme court

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court sided with Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. today in a major blow to reproductive rights for women across the nation.

Said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which has been centrally involved in securing contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act,

Today’s decision not only deprives women of comprehensive healthcare, but it sets a terrifying standard in affirming the ‘personhood’ of corporations … giving closely-held (i.e. limited number of stockholders) corporations so-called religious liberty and taking religious freedom away from their employees at the expense of women’s health. This sets a dangerous precedent for the future of religious liberty and women’s rights. A majority of Americans agree that women should have access to affordable birth control and support full coverage of birth control as a preventive service. The Supreme Court ignored, not only public opinion, but individual rights of women to religious freedom.

Hobby Lobby, a for-profit national craft-store chain, and Conestoga Wood, a wood cabinet manufacturer, challenged the contraceptive-care benefit and sought to give religious freedom to corporations rather than give women the right to truly affordable and comprehensive health care. The Supreme Court case is the first for-profit challenge to the law to make it to the highest court.

Here’s what you should know about what access to contraception means to women, for birth control and beyond:

●      At least 14 percent of all women using a contraceptive are doing so to treat painful conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, severe cramps.

●      Studies have shown that the Pill reduces the incidence of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

●      As many as 88 percent of American women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used some form of contraception.  

This decision is a blow to women who work for corporations who claim to have religious views that trump the religious views of their employees. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act still provides for the vast majority of women to have insurance coverage for birth control without co-pays or deductibles.

Photo of marble staircase at U.S. Supreme Court by Flickr user Phil Roeder under license from Creative Commons 2.0


  1. Adrienne West says:

    Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood need some strong boycott action forced upon them.

  2. Vickie Aubry says:

    Do they pay for men’s reproductive rights? If they do, then women’s reproductive rights should be covered also! It is EQUAL RIGHTS!

    • Patricia Hadley says:

      But we don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment, because we were assured that ‘men’ was generic for man and woman. How many states still need to ratify to get it passed?

    • It’s worse than that: They own stock and invest in many corporations that MAKE contraceptive pills and devices, including pills used to INDUCE abortions, Cytotec and Prostin E2. What’s worse, they make their employees invest in these companies by putting their 401k contributions in funds that hold them!

      “However, it turns out that the owners of Hobby Lobby do not appear to have any problem with profiting from the companies that manufacture the very products that so grievously offend their religious principles.

      “The following is a summation of the companies manufacturing these products that are held by the Hobby Lobby employee retirement plan …

      “‘These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis ACT +0.13%, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer PFE +0.2%, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer , which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla and Mirena; AstraZeneca AZN +0.47%, which has an Indian subsidiary that manufactures Prostodin, Cerviprime, and Partocin, three drugs commonly used in abortions; and Forest Laboratories, which makes Cervidil, a drug used to induce abortions. Several funds in the Hobby Lobby retirement plan also invested in Aetna AET -0.62% and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in many of the health care policies they sell.’

      “When added up, the nine funds holding the stated investments involve three-quarters of Hobby Lobby’s 401(k) assets.”

      So they’ll PROFIT off abortion drugs, but G-D forbid a woman actually want to USE any of them, and forget about it.

  3. Maureen Boud says:

    Wouldn’t there be less of an abortion issue to fight over in America if every women had access to contraception. In fact it should be free . I’m all for abstention ,but not everyone has the willpower lol!

  4. don cannon says:

    That the decision is limited to limited held companies is not much of a limit. About 80% of companies ate limited held and it’s not just mom and pop stores. It includes such large companies as Wallmart. This needs to be overturned. And those companies need to feel the heat.

    • But it’s not just limited/close corps—it also has to be Privately held—Walmart is a public corporation and therefore this ruling has no impact.

  5. Donne Redd says:

    Really Sad…
    What that would mean is that women who are not allowed to take the morning after pill will find ways to end their pregnancy. either by clinics, or go to “dark backrooms” to have abortions, or do abortions themselves by iron hangers, causing embolisms…. “Is that what the government want??”

    don’t be surprised MR. Government if that clothes hanger is used on your daughter, or granddaughter one day!
    Sad…Very SAD!

  6. The birth control that Hobby Lobby and the rest of the ChristoNazi coup claim to be against do not cause pregnancy termination but prevent pregnancies from happening. Even the Catholic National Review reported the truth about this

    The “morning after pill” prevent ovulation.

    The IUD prevents a sperm from reaching an egg to fertilize it.

    So what is this really about?

    It smacks of the Nazi Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion and since LGBT American human rights are finally being acknowledged, those ChristoNazis could use that United States Supreme Christian Court decision to justify denying us our rights again.

    There is only ONE way to make sure that this does not happen again is to make sure that only Democrats get elected to Congress to stop the ChristoNazis from destroying our nation and turning the United States of American into the Fourth Reich.

  7. This is the second blow to women’s reproductive rights after the SC “buffer zone” decision only last week. It’s quite hypocritical of the “Right” to claim there’s “no Republican war on women” and then celebrate the two SC decisions that strike a hard blow against women.

    This extreme anti-choice ideology is one huge reason why I will never vote Republican. The so-called “Grand Old Party” is dangerous to women and women’s reproductive rights, and these two SC decisions, made by a majority of extreme conservative justices, proves that point. I hope to see big losses of Republicans come November. And there isn’t that much time left until election time comes around.

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