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STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Decision

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Contact: Chelsea Kiene
Phone: 202.478.5328
Email: ckiene@americanprogress.org

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court ruled to dramatically expand religious liberty exemptions to for-profit corporations and ruled that providing third-party health care that includes contraceptive coverage is an impermissible burden on a corporation’s religious liberty. In response to the Court’s decision, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden issued the following statement:

The Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling shows just how far the Roberts Court will go to give corporations even more power. Religious liberty is a fundamental right that must be honored to ensure that individuals can freely exercise their beliefs. The right to the free exercise of religion has never been a right that secular for-profit corporations have possessed. It has never been part of religious liberty for a business to foist its owner’s religious views on its employees or customers.

Expanding religious liberty to corporations cheapens religious liberty for everyone. This expansion will allow corporations to claim that their religion entitles them to impose the beliefs of their owners on employees. But why should employees’ rights be so limited? Women’s access to contraception, with its numerous health benefits, is particularly negatively affected by this decision, which dramatically changes corporate governance structure, opens the door to a wide and dangerous range of potentially discriminatory tactics, and allows bosses to pick and choose what medical services they deem are appropriate for their employees.

Religious liberty should mean religious liberty for everyone, employees as well. This ruling puts this important American value in danger and is judicial activism at its worst.

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For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at ckiene@americanprorgress.org or 202.478.5328.

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