VITALE ON BURWELL V. HOBBY LOBBY DECISION: A WOMAN’S DOCTOR NOT HER BOSS SHOULD DETERMINE MEDICAL NEEDS

Senator Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, listens to testimony at the Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Governor's toll road plan.

TRENTON – Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vitale today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby allowing family-owned companies to claim a religious-exemption to opt out of providing employees with contraception coverage:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision allowing family-owned companies to opt out of providing their employees contraception coverage  is highly concerning as its implications could allow for corporations to overreach into the personal lives of their employees. Not only do women use contraception to plan their families, but many use it as a prescription medication to decrease the likelihood of getting cancer, reduce menstrual pain and cramps, regulate menstrual cycles, lessen migraine pain, clear acne, or control endometriosis. With this decision by the Supreme Court, corporations will now be able to opt out of covering an employee’s prescription medication. This creates a slippery slope that could lead to more companies choosing to not cover expensive treatments or medications for ‘religious’ reasons. A woman’s doctor – not her boss – should be the one determining what is medically needed and appropriate.”