Today’s Supreme Court Decision, granting craft store giant Hobby Lobby the right to discriminate against women feels like another well-aimed shot in the gut.
As a woman, I constantly wear a target—and not by choice. Whether it’s a corporation arguing that its CFO’s religious preference against contraception is more important than my rights, or if it’s the Georgia’s Republican legislators doing all they can to keep me from safe, affordable, and judgment-free access to contraception, the simple fact that I’m a woman makes me a target. And this target I wear, that all women wear, is getting heavy.
When the Affordable Care Act became law it ensured that basic, preventative healthcare measures for women, like access to contraception, were covered by insurance and delivered sans co-pay. This made the owners of Hobby Lobby flip-out. You see, the family that founded the Hobby Lobby Corporation, and a variety of other for-profit retail stores, is part of a radical minority that doesn’t believe women should have access to contraception.
(I can’t help but shake my head even typing that.)
The owners of Hobby Lobby filed suit seeking exactly what they got from our conservative court this morning—a decision that allows the religious beliefs of a corporation to trump the health care options of its individual employees. Now your healthcare options could be determined by your boss, and not by you or your doctor.
Citizens United made corporations people. Today’s decision gave these ‘corporate people’ religion, and the right to hate and discriminate.
What does that mean here in Georgia? There are 31 Hobby Lobby stores in Georgia and possibly more places of business owned by this family throughout our state. Nearly 70% of their employees are women.
- takes money out of the pocket of women and their families in Georgia and allows for-profit employers to deny contraception to women.
- interferes in a fundamental way with a women’s ability to follow a treatment plan prescribed by her doctor (nearly 60% of women who use birth control pills do so for reasons other than preventing pregnancy—they are treating ovarian cysts, endometriosis, migraines, or working in addendum with chemotherapy, in hormone replacement therapy, etc.)
- targets a woman’s ability to decide when and if she wants to become a parent.
Furthermore, this decision will no doubt embolden Republican legislators in Georgia who already seek to destroy a woman’s right to safe, comprehensive and affordable reproductive healthcare—including access to preventative measures, like contraception. One doesn’t have to look any further that the flurry of legislation they introduce year after year targeting women’s rights for proof.
Today’s decision hits the target we women are forced wear dead-on. And this one really hurt. And it will continue to hurt every day moving forward until we can make a change.
Women don’t wear this target willingly.
So we need to fight back and work hard to put Democrats in power. We need to speak up now and then again and again. And most importantly- we, as Democrats, must vote.
Democrats will vote so that our state starts targeting failing education policies, government corruption, and toxic air and water. Democrats will vote to put a target on unfair wages, discrimination and on anyone who refuses to expand Medicaid.
Democrats will vote to remove this target on women—and we will win.
Executive Director, Democratic Party of Georgia