Confusion and sweeping statements have abounded in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby ruling that bars the government from forcing small companies with religious objections to provide controversial birth control devices for employees.
Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain, has been hit by critics who are accusing the company of rolling back women’s rights, with claims that the high court’s ruling “jeopardizes basic health care coverage,” as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) charged.
And Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, issued similar comments Monday.
“This is a stifling decision for American women. It’s a decision that blocks women from being able to make their own health care decisions,” she said. “This is deeply troubling, because you have organized religions that oppose health care, period.”
But a closer look shows that the situation is actually quite complicated and more complex than some politicians and talking heads are making it seem.
In fact, while many are accusing Hobby Lobby of restricting women’s rights to contraception, consider that the company has covered and plans to continue covering 16 of the Food and Drug Administration’s 20 approved forms of contraception.
National Review has provided a list of all of the drugs and procedures that Hobby Lobby employees can still take advantage of free of charge — including oral birth control:
- Male condoms
- Female condoms
- Diaphragms with spermicide
- Sponges with spermicide
- Cervical caps with spermicide
- Spermicide alone
- Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
- Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
- Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
- Contraceptive patches
- Contraceptive rings
- Progestin injections
- Implantable rods
- Female sterilization surgeries
- Female sterilization implants
There were four types of birth control at the center of Hobby Lobby’s contentions, though: Plan B, which is also known as the “morning after pill,” Ella, another emergency contraceptive, Copper Intrauterine Device and IUD with progestin — forms of birth control that some believe can cause or are akin to abortion.
On a FAQ section of a Hobby Lobby website setup to provide information on the Supreme Court case, the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, cleared up misconceptions about what they’re refusing to include in health care coverage.
“The Greens and their family businesses respect the individual liberties of all their employees. The Greens and their family businesses have no objection to the other 16 FDA-approved contraceptives required by the law that do not interfere with the implantation of a fertilized egg,” the description reads. “They provide coverage for such contraceptives under their health care plan. Additionally, the four objectionable drugs and devices are widely available and affordable, and employees are free to obtain them.”
As TheBlaze previously reported, the company argued before the Court that the Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which says the government cannot place burdens on the exercise of freedom of religion.
“Providing these objectionable drugs and devices violates the deeply held religious convictions of the Greens – the sole owners of their family businesses – that life begins at conception,” the company’s website said. “Yet refusing to comply with the federal mandate would subject them to an untenable choice of paying substantial fines or discontinuing the outstanding and affordable health insurance plan currently provided to their valued employees.”
According to a Huffington Post report, there are 48 other closely-held companies that have objections to certain forms of birth control and are currently addressing the matter in court.
The Hobby Lobby victory will likely lead some of these businesses to file paperwork citing the Supreme Court decision as the basis for successfully pleading their case, though it is unclear how many closely-held companies will do so.
Go here for a list of some of these companies.
(H/T: National Review)