High Court's Contraception Ruling Draws Strong Reactions

Reaction to the Hobby Lobby case was as divided as the decision itself. The justices ruled that businesses can cite religion to opt out of covering contraceptives under the new health care act.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now we get your reaction to both the Supreme Court decisions - first, to the ruling that some businesses can cite religion to opt out of covering contraceptives under the new health care law. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: In Chicago, a few dozen abortion rights opponents gathered to celebrate the decision as a victory for religious liberty. Emily Zender is with Illinois Rights Alive.

EMILY ZENDER: And it is my choice to live out my freedom as I choose and not my choice to have the government hand me contraceptives.

LUDDEN: Another speaker, Chris Yep, owns Triune Health Group with his wife. They have their own lawsuit against the contraceptive mandate. Yep says the ruling is a big break for his 85 employees.

CHRIS YEP: Without this ruling, then we were going to be forced to deal with the fines, drop health insurance - you know, to do things that are really radical.

LUDDEN: But nearby, 26-year-old law student Alex Gillett calls the ruling discriminatory. Old white men, she says, making a costly decision for women.

ALEX GILLETT: It adds up a lot, and I don't think it's fair that women have to bare this burden of having to pay so much for contraception to make sure that they don't have to lay down, go get an abortion.

ILYSE HOGUE: The precedent and the message the court sent today is chilling.

LUDDEN: Ilyse Hogue heads Pro-Choice America. She rejects the court majority's assertion that this is a narrow ruling.

HOGUE: What the Supreme Court actually set up today opens a Pandora's box to religious liberty claims. Today it's contraception, but anyone can bring suit at this point, and we would not be surprised to see that happen.

LUDDEN: Hogue calls on Congress to right this wrong, though says she's not sure yet how. Both sides may look to lawmakers now. Hadley Heath Manning of the conservative Independent Women's Forum supports the ruling as a check on the executive branch.

HADLEY HEATH MANNING: The court wanted to put the power back in the hands of the people by allowing Congress to decide do we want to fund or do we not want to fund programs for emergency contraception.

LUDDEN: But reaction in Congress is just as divided as the court's decision. Jennifer Ludden, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.