Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, a decision in which Supreme Court undermined the right of women to obtain comprehensive health care under the Affordable Care Act.
The owners of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts retail stores based in Oklahoma City expressed a religious objection to the use of contraception and want to prohibit women who work at the company from obtaining health insurance plans that provide reproductive health care, such as birth control pills and other forms of contraception. Under the Affordable Care Act, comprehensive health care was defined and designed to include reproductive health care -- used by about ninety-nine percent of women in the United States.
"The establishment of an exemption for reproductive health care threatens to undermine the entire Affordable Care Act. This decision could be used by other employers with religious objections to prohibit coverage for widely accepted medical treatment such as, vaccinations or blood transfusions because those practices are contrary to their religious beliefs," said Congresswoman Clarke, who with ninety-three of her colleagues in Congress filed an amicus brief in January urging the Supreme Court to uphold the right of women to purchase health insurance that includes reproductive health care. "When Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, our intent was to provide all Americans the opportunities to choose the best health care insurance for themselves and their families. Today, the Supreme Court has opened the door to potentially limit the health care choices of millions of women, particularly women who are employed in low wage occupations."