Upper Valley reacts to court’s Hobby Lobby decision on contraception

Editor’s note: This article is by Nora Doyle-Burr of the Valley News, in which it was first published July 1, 2014.

WEST LEBANON, N.H. — Opinions varied among Upper Valley residents following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision granting family-owned businesses the choice to opt out of an Affordable Care Act requirement to offer contraception coverage to employees .

Some shoppers at the West Lebanon Hannaford grocery store on Monday afternoon felt the ruling supported the business owners’ religious freedoms, while others worried that the court’s decision represented an attack on women’s access to contraception.

Tunbridge resident Peggy Sears expressed enthusiasm for the Supreme Court ruling.

“I think that’s wonderful,” she said. “Hooray for them!”

She said she enjoys shopping at Hobby Lobby and other “places with Christian values” because she knows she won’t be “confronted by stuff you’re uncomfortable with.”

Like Sears, West Lebanon resident Al Cormier voiced support for the decision.

“I’m totally for it,” he said.

Cormier said church groups and others with religious convictions ought to be able to operate as they see fit, free from the government “forcing them to give out something totally against their beliefs.”

Others said they believed the court had accorded too much leeway to corporations, at the expense of people.

Rebekah Humphrey-Sewell, a Lebanon resident, said her reaction to the ruling would be best described using “swear words.” She wondered aloud, what if other religious businesses decide they don’t want to fund blood transfusions, honor federal holidays or provide benefits to same sex spouses ?

“It violates the separation of church and state,” she said. “I’m really unhappy.”

Lebanon resident Amy Driscoll said she was puzzled by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“I just don’t understand what people have against women and contraception,” she said.

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling prompted a strong denouncement from U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., one of the leading proponents in Washington for offering contraceptive coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

“Women should be making decisions about their health care with their doctors, not their employers,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic health care coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women … Blocking access to contraception will have economic and public health consequences that our country cannot afford.”

In contrast, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown’s campaign used the opportunity to again state his opposition to the Affordable Care Act in general.

“Scott Brown supports women’s health care and access to contraception but by injecting government into every aspect of our lives, Obamacare threatens all our freedoms,” Brown’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton said via email. “The best solution is to repeal it.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3213.

Leave a Reply

10 Comments on "Upper Valley reacts to court’s Hobby Lobby decision on contraception"

1000

Comment Policy

VTDigger.org requires that all commenters identify themselves by their authentic first and last names. Initials, pseudonyms or screen names are not permissible.

No personal harassment, abuse, or hate speech is permitted. Be succinct and to the point. If your comment is over 500 words, consider sending a commentary instead.

We personally review and moderate every comment that is posted here. This takes a lot of time; please consider donating to keep the conversation productive and informative.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage a civil discourse among readers who are willing to stand behind their identities and their comments. VTDigger has created a safe zone for readers who wish to engage in a thoughtful discussion on a range of subjects. We hope you join the conversation.

Privacy policy
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Ron Mapes
2 years 5 months ago

Is the issue really womens access to birth control? I have not read anything that is currently law that specifically denies women from birth control.
The question is and should be; How do I get someone else to pay for it? I cannot say all, but it appears to me that the people complaining are not willing to take personal responsbility in maintaining their body and actions. Want someone else to pay for it and then place blame on them if something goes wrong.

Enjoy,

Peter Liston
2 years 5 months ago

So insurance coverage is now thought of as “someone else paying for your healthcare” ??

Someone works for a company, the company profits from the labors of the employees — the employees receive compensation in the form of insurance coverage and the coverage they receive is somehow undeserved??

That’s some twisted logic.

Paul Richards
2 years 5 months ago
Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; ““Women should be making decisions about their health care with their doctors, not their employers,” Shaheen said in a statement. “Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic health care coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women … Blocking access to contraception will have economic and public health consequences that our country cannot afford.”” Well Jeanne, like so many people shooting their mouth off about this, you either don’t know the facts or are twisting them for political gain. First of all it would be helpful if the Valley News actually tried to educate… Read more »
krister adams
2 years 5 months ago

Paul: Firstly, YES, Ms. Shaheen makes a valid point(s) and speaks factually. Second, why in this country only, are corporations viewed as people but women are not? Third, you say “4 forms of “contraception” that are essentially abortions”…seeing as how you are so into facts, what exactly do you mean here? Could this statement be open to interpretation?

Paul Richards
2 years 5 months ago
Ms. Shaheen; ““Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic health care coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women” Not factual. This decision does NOT jeopardize “basic health care coverage”. “Basic health care coverage” did not go away with this decision. This decision does NOT Jeopardize “access to contraception for a countless number of women”. 16 forms of contraception are still available for free (they never were before), the other 4 are still available and, rest assured that they will be free after as much political gain is squeezed out of the issue. How different people view… Read more »
krister adams
2 years 5 months ago

Wow, what an incoherent rant. Hot today, huh? You ask “Are you getting my point?”. Absolutely not.

Paul Richards
2 years 5 months ago

I’m not surprised. Never mind, move along, nothing to see here. Don’t you worry your little head about it; everything is fine here in the land of milk and honey.

Carl Marcinkowski
2 years 5 months ago

Paul, all the name calling and insults are not needed. You’ve used enough lines to make a point. You seem to be the person throwing hate. Also you science is not correct and the medical professionals say that these medications are not ‘essentially abortion’. Employees are entitled to equal compensation that should not be wrangled and tangled with at the whims of the employers. Just pay the insurance premiums and let the employees see their doctors in confidentiality.

rosemarie jackowski
2 years 5 months ago

About the 4 forms that are essentially abortion causing… There is not universal scientific agreement on the exact moment when life begins and/or ends.

Disagreement or agreement with the new SC rule is not necessarily a matter of religion. Atheists have moral codes too.

This legal wiggle-room for conscience might be a good thing. Those who do not support war as a matter of conscience should be exempt from paying that portion of federal taxes.

Jon Corrigan
2 years 5 months ago

The last time I looked, nobody was forced to work for any company. Those employees disappointed with the SC decision have the option of sending their own message – by leaving.

wpDiscuz
Thanks for reporting an error with the story, "Upper Valley reacts to court’s Hobby Lobby decision on contrace..."