Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that dealt a serious blow to women’s right to equal health care in America. The League of Women Voters joined an amicus brief in this case. 

“The Supreme Court’s argument that closely-held for-profit corporations have a right to the free exercise of religion is a distraction from the core issue at hand: the protection of public health, and in particular, the rights of women to have equal access to health care coverage,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States.

“Some argue that this is a narrow decision, applying only to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage provision. Given the other cases likely to come before this Court, it would be unwise to allow today’s decision to lull us into complacency,” MacNamara said. “The Hobby Lobby decision is an ominous sign for what may be to come on this vital issue.” 

“Denying women access to needed health care coverage based on ill-defined religious or moral objections of their employers is a step backwards in the long-fought battle towards equal rights,” said MacNamara. “This is America. The religious beliefs of owners of corporations should not be used  defeat the rights of other people.” 

“For decades, the League has worked tirelessly for comprehensive health care coverage, including a woman's right to make her own health care choices,” concluded MacNamara. “We will continue our work to ensure that the impact of this decision doesn’t get in the way of quality of care for all.”  

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.