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Demonstrators in support of abortion and contraceptive rights read on their mobile phones as the ruling for Hobby Lobby against their cause was announced outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 30, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled th
Luckily for American women, the Supreme Court doesn't have the ultimate say in contraceptive coverage, and least not with the Hobby Lobby decision. For example, Kaiser Health News, reports:
More than half the states have “contraceptive equity” laws on the books that require most employers whose health insurance covers prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptives as part of that package. Unlike the ACA, those laws do not require that coverage to be available without deductibles or co-pays. […]

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the court used to say the closely held companies don’t have to abide by the federal mandate, “doesn’t supersede state law,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center.  “They stand as independent protections.”

Some of those states have exemptions for non-profit religious organizations, like the federal law, with just Arizona and Illinois expanding them beyond expressly religious entities. However, Hobby Lobby and other firms that self-insure aren't subject to state insurance laws, because they're not buying state-regulated insurance. Other companies, though, which don't self-insure do have to abide by that state law.

But there aren't just state protections, and here is one of the glaring problems with the decision—women are singled out. And this:

But [self-insuring companies] are still likely subject to a ruling issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the year 2000 that employers that fail to cover contraception as part of their health insurance benefit package are discriminating against women in violation of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. That law was itself an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The employees of Hobby Lobby and other companies that take advantage of the exemption could sue their employers, charging gender discrimination. The litigating is far from over on this one.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 03:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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