Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Why Are We Still Fighting Over Birth Control in the 21st Century?
Walking home from the Capitol recently, I saw the words engraved above the portico of the Supreme Court: "Equal justice under law." These four words are at the heart of the promise of our country -- that every American should be treated equally.
That is why millions of Americans, especially women, were so outraged at the court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling, in which five Republican-appointed men decided that a corporation -- your employer -- has the power to deny you coverage for critical health care for you and your family.
Those words etched in stone at our nation's highest court don't say "equal justice under law except for women." They don't say "equal justice as long as it's OK with your boss." And yet that is exactly what the court majority said in its ruling.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito seized on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 to justify giving for-profit companies the sweeping power to deny their employees access to affordable birth control and other health care benefits required under federal law.