WASHINGTON, March 24 -- The Advocates For Youth issued the following news release:
Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products are refusing to adhere to the ACA's provision requiring employers to provide health insurance that includes contraception coverage. The stakes in this case are high, particularly for young people and our fundamental human rights in the United States.
Should the Supreme Court decide in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products, the decision would have a ripple effect, and not just for the thousands of women who could lose contraception coverage. This case is about more than the ACA and birth control.
"Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products are attempting to distort and co-opt our tradition of religious freedom and replace it with an insidious "religious-right-of-corporations," said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth. "We call upon the Supreme Court to provide a definitive statement that companies do not enjoy the same religious freedoms as individuals and put an end to the alarming rise in the incorporation of discrimination that we have seen in multiple states across the country."
If the court upholds the challenges, there would be nothing to stand in the way of corporations invoking religious beliefs to deny individuals and their families childhood immunizations, same-sex partnership benefits, maternity care, HIV- testing, or any number of other benefits or services a corporation chooses to deny. Corporations cannot be given a free pass to discriminate and young people across the country will not stand for it.
"What is at stake today is an issue of sexism, classism, and oppression," said youth activist Kirin Gupta. "It is the control exercised by money and power of a few who are twisting our country's freedom of religion to deny basic freedoms to young, often already marginalized bodies. These choices are ours--not our schools, not our bosses, not anyone else's."
Across the country today, youth activists are taking to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram as well as to the steps of the Supreme Court, to stand up for a country that respects and embraces all sexual orientations, gender identities, and the basic right to health care, including birth control. Join us at #DearSCOTUS (http://amplifyyourvoice.org/dearscotus).