This week the US supreme court ruled that Hobby Lobby, a US corporation would not be required by the Obamacare law (Affordable Care Act) to pay for contraception and abortions-inducing medication for their employers due to religious objections.
The case was brought to the court by Wheaton College (a Christian group) that made the case that Obamacare violated the beliefs of the Hobby Lobby’s owner. The injunction now effectively deprives hundreds of Wheaton’s employees and students from their right to receive contraception coverage. The decision was based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allowed Hobby Lobby as well as Conestoga Wood Specialities (another family owned corporation) from offering contraceptives as part of their employee health plans.
This ruling by the US supreme court is first and foremost a victory for the misogynistic religious groups in the US. By allowing corporations to have the liberty to decide if their employees can have access to the contraception is an attack on women. Christian groups as well as Islamic groups have both been a strong advocates in propagating gender inequality in society. One of the most fundamental women’s right is to have access to contraception and have self-rule in abortion rights both of which are strongly contested by religious groups. Pregnancy, and child rearing comes at an immense cost to women in the context of capitalism. Economically it pushes women to the side-line and strips and deprives them of important economic and political space in society.
The US supreme court decision predicates on reducing costs for the corporations as well. This decision, although heavily lobbied by conservative groups, including religious institutions, played into the hands of the cost reducing and profit increasing structure of every corporation. It also allows US corporations to act as independent agents in decisions regarding “morality” and human rights. This is a complete disregard and a ridiculing of the 21st century human ethics and human rights, which are meant to cut across all institutions and groups.