In February Colorado’s Attorney General John Suthers signed onto a ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief in support of the craft store Hobby Lobby that is blowing up national headlines today as the U.S. Supreme Court hears argument about the company’s refusal to cover some kinds of birth control in its employees’ health plans. Protesting Suthers’s support for Hobby Lobby in the case, a coalition of reproductive health groups fashioned crafty messages about their love of birth control freedom of choice.
Attached to pipe-cleaner IUDs and pills made of glitter, Colorado women included messages like, “I <3 BC,” and “Only my Dr. and I know which birth control method is best for me. Interfering with that decision is not my boss’s or your business!”
Although his office was not available to comment on today’s display, they did discuss the Attorney’s decision with The Independent when he signed onto the brief in February.
“Colorado Attorney General John Suthers joined the Hobby Lobby brief because he supports the principle that the federal government should not be able to dictate that a privately-held business provide insurance coverage that is contrary to the religious beliefs of the businesses’ owners,” wrote spokesperson Carolyn Tyler.
Hobby Lobby says use of birth control like “the morning after” pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs) constitute abortion, which goes against the religious beliefs of the owners, the Green family. So in addition to the privacy issue — should your employer even know what kind of birth control you’re taking — the case is also about who/ what is entitled to religious liberty.
“A corporation is not a person. We as people are able to have religious freedom, but to say a corporation has religious freedom or can impose religious beliefs on employees really exceeds the definition of corporation to my mind,” said Karen Middleton, executive director at NARAL.
Middleton added that the outcome of the case could impact coverage for 478,000 women in Colorado and she called out Suthers for his involvement in the case.
“I just think voters need to pay attention to this. Attorney General Suthers was elected by Colorado voters and to see him support this viewpoint, which we think goes against the majority of Colorado voters, shows how important it is to ask these questions.”
Check out photos from the event: