Monday, June 30, 2014

Connecticut politicians react to Hobby Lobby ruling

Per the Associated Press: "The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women." (scroll down to read the entire ruling)

After the ruling, Connecticut politicians and others reacted to it.

Here are some of the reaction (from emailed releases; more will be added as received):

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, (senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Health and Human Services):

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court is a serious step backwards for women's health and will negatively affect not just women, but their families as well. The idea that a corporation's rights should be placed above the rights of women is outrageous. Women should be able to make their own health care decisions regardless of where they work and without interference from their bosses. Covering effective preventive services, which include contraception, is a critical part of the Affordable Care Act and should not be dependent on whether your boss says you can have access to basic health care."


U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.:

Today, the Supreme Court held for the first time that the religious rights of corporations trump the personal freedoms of American women. This decision undermines millions of American women's access to birth control. Religious liberty is about the right to practice your religion, not the right to impose your religion on your employees. Congress must act to restore workers' right to make their own health care decisions.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy:

“While we should all respect each other’s right to hold different positions based on religious beliefs, women should not be denied access to reproductive healthcare benefits due to the personal beliefs of their employer. Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is an affront to that very basic and fundamental idea,” said Governor Malloy. “In our diverse society, it is unconscionable that the religious beliefs of a private, for-profit employer can dictate the kind of medical care that is available to an employee.  We will review this decision and assess the impact it may have in Connecticut.”

Lt. Gov. Wyman:

“Providing the option of contraceptive coverage is part of serving the healthcare needs of women, it is just that simple,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “Carving out exemptions to medicines or treatment is tantamount to restricting access—it puts women at risk and that is unacceptable. This Supreme Court decision reminds us that we have a lot left to do in our fight for equity for women.”


U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5,:

“Today’s ruling is misguided and extremely troubling,” Esty said. “A woman’s health care decisions should be made by the woman and her doctor—not her employer. The Supreme Court has extended the notion of corporate personhood to an extreme. Whether it is allowing corporations to flood money into our political elections in Citizens United or unduly restricting access to basic health care in today’s Hobby Lobby decision, the court is setting a dangerous and damaging precedent for our democracy.

“Every American deserves access to high-quality health care coverage and should have the ability to make their own medical and religious decisions, regardless of where they work. Birth control is basic, preventive health care relied on by millions of women and their families. Access to birth control is directly linked to the declining maternal and infant mortality rate, a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, fewer unintended pregnancies and abortions, and better overall health and quality of life for women. Quite simply, access to effective birth control makes an enormous difference in women’s health and lives.  I strongly disagree with today’s ruling, which is a major step backwards in our pursuit for women’s rights and gender equality.

“I intend to work with my colleagues on legislation to reverse the Supreme Court’s misguided ruling to ensure basic protections for women’s health." Already, over 27 million women have benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s provision that requires insurance companies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen:
 "While my office is reviewing today's Supreme Court decisions – including what effect, if any, that Harris v. Quinn may have on home healthcare workers in the state of Connecticut – both of these decisions, while narrow in their scope, are disappointing.  I am deeply concerned about the impact of the decisions on working families and particularly about the disproportionate impact that the decisions may have on women in our country's workforce.
 
"My office joined with partner states on amicus briefs in both of these cases, and we will continue to support the rights of workers and the rights of women under our state and federal laws."
 
Christine A. Palm, communications director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women:
 
“This appalling decision by the Supreme Court further erodes a woman’s autonomy over her own body and healthcare,” said Christine Palm, PCSW Communications Director. “To invest corporations with the power to be a regulating force over private matters sets a very bad precedent, and it cannot be overlooked that this decision affects women, not the full spectrum of the workforce.”
 
 

 Read or download the full ruling here:
 

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