Monday’s Supreme Court decision in favor of the company and Conestoga Wood of Pennsylvania for refusing to pay for contraception in health insurance affects far more than the 15,000 employees between them. The Supreme Court’s decision allows closely held companies (corporations with more than 50 percent of stock owned by five or fewer individuals) to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. There are at least 80 other companies fighting to be the next Hobby Lobby.
Gretchen Borchelt, senior counsel and director of state reproductive health policy for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), has been following similar cases for the past three years. She calls the Hobby Lobby decision disturbing—not for the least of reasons, how many other corporations it will affect.
“Other closely held companies now have a license to harm their employees in the name of the company’s religion,” she said. “If companies qualify, they can use this decision to make the same claim.”
A number already have. More than 50 for-profit companies and 59 non-profits have been filed lawsuits against the ACA’s contraception mandate. The majority of these rulings were stayed by courts pending the resolution of Hobby Lobby’s case.
“After SCOTUS issued this decision, lower courts will apply that decision to these cases that they’ve been holding,” said Borchelt.
Those that don’t immediately get approval may simply move forward without it.
TVNL Comment: Corporations are people. Women are chattel. Where is the outrage?