Local Reactions To The Hobby Lobby Decision
Reactions are still coming in to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby (that decision, that the company is not required to cover contraceptives as part of employees' health insurance, can be read here.). Here are a few so far. Keep in mind, more decisions related to this one are expected.
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has not issued a formal statement, but the periodical Rhode Island Catholic, in a Facebook posting today, mentioned how Hobby Lobby co-founders were "overjoyed" at today's Supreme Court decision. Church officials might share that joy.
- The Rhode Island Right to Life Committee has called today's ruling a "victory" on its Facebook page, but no formal statement yet, either.
- Rhode Island's congressional delegates are already on the record with their reactions, though. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse emailed this statement to reporters: "This is just the latest example of the activist Roberts Court siding with the narrow interests of corporations over those of the American people. Ignoring the clear will of Congress, the Court’s five conservative justices today ruled that corporations have religious beliefs that they can put ahead of the medical well-being of the women who work for them. The decision sets a dangerous precedent by allowing for-profit corporations to meddle in decisions that should be left between a woman and her doctor, and I’m deeply disappointed in the Court’s ruling." And from Rep. David Cicilline: "Women, not their bosses, should be in charge of their own personal health care choices. ...I am deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling and will continue working to stop attacks on women’s access to complete health care services and to advance women’s basic rights. This fight is not over.”
- Planned Parenthood of Southern New England went on the record with me about their disappointment with the court's decision today. But they were quick to point out that women do have other ways of obtaining low-cost contraception.
- There's just one Hobby Lobby location in Rhode Island, by the way, in Warwick.
- One more note: churches and religious nonprofits are already exempt from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate. Under these exemptions, the company's insurer has to provide employees with the means to buy contraceptives separately, without requiring any cost-sharing from the employer.