Although it has already been signed into law and approved by the United States Supreme Court as constitutional, Obamacare is under attack again by those who want it gone. In another attempt to remove the new healthcare reform from law, the Affordable Care Act has once again been brought to the Supreme Court, and this time it is in regards to religion.
Religious corporations, such as Hobby Lobby, are against this new healthcare because of the requirement to provide comprehensive contraception coverage for their employees. Since these religious corporation owners are against contraception, they feel like their personal religious freedoms are being trampled on by Obamacare. This argument, however, is invalid. Obamacare does not affect the individual corporation owner’s religious rights; however, the law is actually aimed at their corporations. Corporations do not have religious freedoms, people do.
CNN journalist Elizabeth Wydra wrote an article about how corporations do not have the same rights as individuals.
“Like the right to the free exercise of religion, the right against self-incrimination has always been understood to be a personal right of freedom and conscience that artificial corporate entities simply do not share,” Wydra says.
For all legal purposes, corporations claiming that Obamacare is destroying their religious rights do not have a foot to stand on in court. Corporations do not have religious freedom. Furthermore, the corporation owners are not paying for the contraception opportunities for their employees out of pocket, the corporation is.
Religious colleges, universities, hospitals and churches are all exempt from contraception requirements for their employees. For-profit companies, such as Hobby Lobby, are not, and that is why they have brought this case to court. To make them exempt from this law is completely impractical, and would take away the rights of women across the nation. One of the biggest benefits of Obamacare is providing healthcare opportunities for women, including contraception.
As the Obama administration has stated, “Contraception is a private issue between a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.” A CEO hundreds of miles away from you should not have the power to decide if you receive contraception methods based on his personal religious belief. Thousands of women will go without healthcare benefits they deserve, simply because it is against another person’s religious belief.
Hobby Lobby and other corporations have made it clear they will not be paying for contraception, although it is the law; they now await the decision by the Supreme Court on whether it is constitutional. In January, when the healthcare plan begins, corporations refusing to pay will begin to face extensive fines. Whichever side you are on–for contraception or against–people need to understand it is the right of the individual woman to make for herself. Women deserve the opportunity to have access to it in healthcare, and CEOs should not decide the personal lives of their employees.