Merkley: Hobby Lobby Decision is ‘Tremendous Blow’ to Women’s Access to Fundamental Health Care

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the Supreme Court decision in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. 

“This decision is a tremendous blow to the ability of women to have access to fundamental health care. The Supreme Court’s decision could jeopardize contraception coverage for millions of women who rely on it.

“Women in this country should be able to make their own health care choices. Bosses and CEOs shouldn’t be able to impose their own personal views on their workers’ health care. The Supreme Court decision will make it more difficult for women to make critical personal health choices and shows just how far we still have left to go to ensure total equality for women in the workplace and, unfortunately, even in the doctor’s office. 

“Allowing CEOs to control whether or not their workers have contraception coverage is a dangerous precedent.  As Justice Ginsberg stated in her dissent, this decision could allow companies to ‘opt out of any law … they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.’ Based on the reasoning of this opinion, employers could deny employees access to other essential health care such as inoculations, blood transfusion, or surgeries. This is an unacceptable intrusion of bosses into personal health options.

“The Affordable Care Act made gender-based health care discrimination a thing of the past and unfortunately today, the Supreme Court has taken us backwards.”