Hobby Lobby decision: what can women do?

“This isn’t the end, there are other options,” stated Dr. Sherry Franklin, former president of the San Diego County Medical Society.

Dr. Franklin says women should not panic about the Supreme Court’s decision this week to support Hobby Lobby. The arts and crafts chain’s health plan provided several forms of contraceptives, but the Affordable Care Act mandated four forms that they say went against their religious beliefs: two emergency contraceptives and two IUD’s. The court protected their religious right.

“I’m not super religious, but for a Supreme Court to say anything about anybody’s health benefits, I don’t think it’s up to them,” said Pacific Beach resident Rhiannon Groff.

“I would like my company to help support things like birth control, give me an opportunity to have a say in my health care,” said San Marcos resident Sophia Russell.

Closely held, religious-based companies do not have to cover those specific types of contraception now, but Dr. Franklin says women can get around the law to get what they need.

“Most emergency contraceptive pills are over-the-counter, cost as low as $35. Brand new is going to cost more.”

And there is this: in California, the Women’s Contraception Equity Act has been in place since 1999, providing insurance coverage of FDA-approved contraception.

“Women in California are much better off because they can still have employee-based health plans that give them access to birth control,” stated Cita Walsh of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood still sees the Supreme Court decision as a step backwards, but say they offer services to women, insurance coverage or not.

“As a woman, I have children of my own. We have to be proactive in taking care of ourselves. If a job is not going to provide it, we’ll have to seek other resources to be able to do that,” said Chula Vista resident Brandi Landrum.

Some say this Supreme Court decision opens the door for many other legal challenges. Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in a 35-page dissent that went viral, said now corporations of any size – public or private – could now say they no longer want to provide health coverage of vaccines, or even pay minimum wage. This decision may only be the beginning.

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