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Opinion

Is this what a war on women looks like? Reflections from the steps of the Supreme Court

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Opinion,Op-Eds,Supreme Court,Abortion,War on Women,Gender Issues,Contraception,Family Issues,Hobby Lobby

Standing in front of the Supreme Court as the justices handed down their ruling in defense of Life and Liberty in the Hobby Lobby case, I was overwhelmed with the joy and jubilation of the other young women standing on either side of me.

Newspapers around the country captured the moment when all the young women on the steps danced and sang in elation after we received word about the decision from the Court.

The vast majority of the people standing in solidarity with the Green and the Hahn families in front of the Court were other young women like me. As I looked at their smiling faces, I couldn’t help but ask: “Is this what a ‘war on women’ looks like?”

Our celebration continues this week with the failure in the Senate of a bill to undo protections for people of faith and force participation with a life-ending agenda.

Our opponents have been disingenuously referring to this fight for religious liberty and defense of life as a “war on women.” The abortion lobby characterization of this case is demeaning.

They posit that all women care about is having someone else pay for their choices, and that all women want life-ending drugs and devices. This is a strained and narrow view of women.

We stood on the steps of the Court in support of Hobby Lobby because we oppose the life-ending drugs and devices required under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Obamacare mandate.

We stood on those steps because we know that women are capable of thinking for ourselves and controlling our lives without interference from the Obama administration and without needing to coerce our employers to provide life-ending drugs and devices disingenuously labeled as “contraception”.

We stood on those steps because we believe that every American — every woman — should be free to live and work according to our beliefs without fear of punishment from the federal government.

We are not alone. A poll conducted by WPA Opinion Research found that the majority of Americans oppose the coercive, embryo-killing, HHS mandate -- including the majority of women.

When asked about the HHS mandate this May, 50 percent of women opposed the measure, while only 45 percent supported it. Similarly, 53 percent of likely voters oppose the mandate, while only 43 percent support it.

Our opponents are spreading the lie that this decision is going to take away birth control from women. The Hobby Lobby case was not about birth control — women are still free to practice family planning according to their consciences, whether that is natural family planning, the pill or even emergency “contraception.”

This case was about the government trying to force a small family-owned business to pay for life-ending drugs and devices contrary to their religious beliefs.

In fact, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods provide coverage of birth control in their employee insurance plans — they cover all drugs required under the HHS mandate except for four embryo-killing drugs.

Despite all the hype about the availability of contraception, women can purchase such drugs in stores across America. Clearly there is not a lack of access.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court upheld the rights of the Green and the Hahn families to run their businesses in accordance with their beliefs. This was a great victory for religious liberty and for life.

Mary Therese Drury is a paralegal at Americans United for Life.
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