HAF Disappointed with Supreme Court Ruling on Contraception Mandate

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2014) -- Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) spoke out today against the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.  In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court stated that closely held corporations could not be required to provide medical insurance coverage for contraception to their employees. The mandate for contraception coverage required employers to give employees access to insurance plans that cover contraceptives.  Hobby Lobby was one of several for-profit corporations that filed suit against the contraception mandate, arguing that it violated the religious beliefs of the company’s owners. 

"The Supreme Court’s decision not only reduces access to affordable contraception for millions of Americans, it opens the door for employers to further impose their religious beliefs on their employees." said Harsh Voruganti, Esq., Associate Director of Public Policy at HAF.  “Religious freedom does not entail the right to a blanket exemption from laws one may disagree with.” 

The decision divided the Supreme Court and sparked a vigorous dissent by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Justice Ginsburg noted in her dissent that the decision’s logic could be extended to allow exemptions to anti-discrimination laws, and similar federal statutes.

“All Americans deserve the right to practice their religion freely and independent of government intrusion.” noted Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, we share Justice Ginsburg’s concern that today’s decision will embolden employers to circumvent anti-discrimination laws under the cover of religious freedom.”