Press Release

June 30, 2014
Cardin Assails SCOTUS Decision on Hobby Lobby as a Threat to Women’s Rights

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) decried the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that allows certain employers to determine whether a woman has equal access to coverage for contraception. Senator Cardin and 18 of his colleagues had filed an amicus brief in support of the government’s position in the case. The Senators urged the Supreme Court to reverse the Tenth Circuit’s expansion of RFRA’s scope and purpose as applied to secular, for-profit corporations and their shareholders seeking to evade the contraceptive-coverage requirement under the ACA. 


“With this decision, the Supreme Court has put the health of American women at risk while opening the door for private employers who are looking for a reason not to comply with the law. Exempting certain secular, for-profit corporations from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive-coverage requirement is inconsistent with the plain language and legislative intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and undermines the government’s compelling interest in providing women access to preventive health care under the ACA, including contraceptive coverage,” said Senator Cardin.   


“Whether a woman uses contraception should be a private decision not subject to a financial veto by her employer. The Affordable Care Act guarantees the majority of women coverage for comprehensive preventive health services, including contraception.  Imposing additional financial burdens on a woman because her employer claims to hold certain beliefs contrary to the law is harmful and sets a dangerous precedent. Corporations are not people, but a 5-4 majority of the highest court in the land has decided that they should be treated the same when it comes to the First Amendment.”