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Local reaction to Supreme Court's decision on birth control

Created: 06/30/2014 8:15 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

Some are calling it a critical win. Religious for profit companies no longer have to cover birth control for female employees. In a five to four decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that those groups can claim religious exemptions to opt out of the new health law requirement which covers contraceptives for women. The ruling was part of a case involving Hobby Lobby.

Employees at the Hobby Lobby say they can’t talk about the fact that birth control won’t be covered for them anymore. But on its website, the co-founder of Hobby Lobby says this is a victory for religious freedom and owners are overjoyed. Many others feel very different though.

Maureen Polen, Planned Parenthood, Central & Western NY, said, “The Supreme Court's decision was very troubling and disturbing.”

Because Planned Parenthood Representative Maureen Polen feels women should have easy access to birth control, but she says now some women will suffer because of the Supreme Court's decision to allow certain employers to say no to cover birth control for religious reasons.

Polen said, “It's upsetting that there will be women who won't be able to access birth control because of their bosses.”

The Rochester Diocese says it welcomes this news, agreeing with what one archbishop said about the ruling, saying, "Justice has prevailed, with the Court respecting the rights of the Green and Hahn families to continue to abide by their faith in how they seek their livelihood, without facing devastating fines.  Now is the time to redouble our efforts to build a culture that fully respects religious freedom." 

Despite this change for many working women, Polen urges those who need birth control to stop by or call their local Planned Parenthood.

Polen said, “It's important that there will be millions of women who will be able to receive birth control through the Affordable Care Act.”

News10NBC reached out to several local business owners with strong religious beliefs, but none of them would comment on the ruling or how it could affect their employees.





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