Monday, June 30, 2014

Conyers & Cohen: “Supreme Court Ruling an Affront to Reproductive Rights, While Opening Door to Employer Discrimination”

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, ruling that closely-held for-profit companies with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act. After the ruling, Ranking Members John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) delivered the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.): “Today, the Supreme Court delivered yet another blow to women’s reproductive rights, based on the extraordinary conclusion that corporations – as opposed to their individual owners – have their own right to the free exercise of religion. Already, millions of women in America are benefiting from the protections found in the Affordable Care Act, including access to contraceptives. The ruling today could undermine this essential coverage for many women under the guise of ‘religious liberty.’ Alarmingly, the ruling also opens the door to the unnerving possibility that corporations could claim exemptions to various health and safety protections based on their asserted religious beliefs. Regrettably, the Supreme Court’s ruling today allows for bosses to wade into – and potentially discriminate against – the personal healthcare choices of their employees; healthcare decisions must continue to remain between an individual and their doctor.”

Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.): “I am disappointed in today’s Supreme Court ruling that puts women’s reproductive care in a class of its own and strips it as an element of comprehensive healthcare. This ruling means that the Affordable Care Act’s benefit of contraceptive care is no longer guaranteed for the millions of American women who are employed by private businesses helmed by anyone who may object to providing basic, preventive care to its female employees. I am disappointed in this wrong-minded ruling and will continue to work to see that women have access to the care they deserve as prescribed by the Affordable Care Act.”
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