La Opinión: Ruling Detrimental to Women

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A for-profit, family-owned company is not a religious person with the right to choose the health care coverage of its employees according to its conscience. Or at least that is how it should be.

Nevertheless, in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 gives Hobby Lobby the right to deny its 15,000 employees the birth-control options mandated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

This decision is an atrocity. It mixes an employee's job benefits with an employer's religious beliefs. By deciding in favor of employers, the justices are creating a perverse split that hurts workers, and especially women.

Female workers are the ones who are hurt most here. Now a business sector has the freedom to choose which type of contraceptive it will give its female employees, so that their behavior does not make the employer morally uncomfortable. What employees do in private, and with their bodies, should not concern their employer as long as it does not impact their work.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote that a concept as vague as one that reflects "an honest conviction" in religious beliefs is enough to not cover several kinds of birth control.

This decision against Obamacare has caused joy among the law's critics, who would rather have millions of people without health care coverage than have basic coverage for everyone. The ruling feeds on the distorted idea that Obamacare is government intrusion. In reality, it is not much different from other programs that are popular today, like Medicare, which in its time was denounced as socialism, as is happening now with the ACA.

Given this court ruling, it is obviously up to the White House to correct the decision's impact with an executive order to ensure that the contraceptive coverage options that female employees get from their jobs are not limited by their employer's religious beliefs.

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