In an amicus brief filed yesterday, American Atheists and CFI urged the Supreme Court to reject attempts by religious employers, like we saw with Hobby Lobby, to use the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to deny contraceptive coverage to employees, even through third-party providers.
According to the press release by American Atheists the case they filed is the, “Zubik v. Burwell, [where] religious employers claim that simply telling the government that they are opting out of providing contraceptive coverage directly, thereby allowing employees who wish to receive no-cost coverage to receive it directly from insurance providers, substantially burdens their (the employers’) religious beliefs. ”
“This case isn’t really about religious freedom. This is about employers using the excuse of religious burden to force their dogma on their employees,” said Knief. “Whether they like it or not, under the Affordable Care Act women are guaranteed access to contraception. These employers are not being forced to use contraception or provide it. Their complaint is entirely that women have access to contraception despite their disapproval,” said American Atheists’ National Legal Director Amanda Knief, one of the authors of the amicus brief.”The question in this case is whether the Supreme Court will allow anyone who claims a religious burden to avoid following the law–even when they have been provided an accommodation. We are hopeful that the Court will say ‘enough is enough’ and recognize that telling the government you don’t want to provide contraception is not a substantial religious burden,” Knief added.
The decision should be simple. Business can’t have religious beliefs and should have no say in what their employees do with their bodies. They should not be able to deny access to birth control or contraception of any kind simply because the business owner is against such things.
Yet, like in Citizens United and the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court sides with the business owners and religious privilege and grants business more rights that actual citizens.
Photo credit: Sarah C / Creative Commons / Flickr