Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a case that weighed the rights of private companies to deny their employees access to contraceptives under their insurance plans.
While many view this as a damaging reduction in access to some of the most effective preventative medicine for family planning services, two of the statewide candidates for public office in Texas chose to take to Twitter to celebrate the news. Greg Abbott, the GOP's gubernatorial candidate, and Dan Patrick, who secured the nomination for Lieutenant Governor after his runoff, both hail the decision as a victory for religious liberty – though it comes at the expense of women's health.
More on the decision and Dan Patrick's tweet below the jump.It should come as no surprise that these two lawmakers see the Supreme Court's ruling in Hobby Lobby's favor as reason to celebrate. Their party just approved an incredibly anti-woman platform, including explicit support for the rights of those working in the medical field to express their religious freedom by refusing to provide birth control.
One only needs to look at their statements to see it clearly: for these candidates, religious freedom only applies to those who are attempting to limit access to reproductive healthcare.
Great news from the Supreme Court today, which stood up for religious freedom! RETWEET if you stand with Hobby Lobby! pic.twitter.com/0B0KPHHv0Z
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) June 30, 2014
Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, released a statement on Abbott's anti-woman position:
Today Greg Abbott celebrates a ruling that will allow some bosses to deny women birth control coverage. It's unbelievable that we are still fighting for access to birth control in 2014. And simply preposterous that Greg Abbott would state that limiting access to birth control is 'protecting life.'
Texas women have already suffered numerous clinic closures and loss of access to basic care, including birth control. But Greg Abbott wants to see their access to health care limited even more.
Texans deserve a Governor who will fight for women, and to protect their access to birth control. That is why Texas women, and those who support us, will continue to fight, and will work night and day until the election to stop Greg Abbott from becoming Governor.
Wendy Davis, Democratic candidate for governor, had this to add:
Today's disappointing decision to restrict access to birth control puts employers between women and their doctors. We need to trust women to make their own healthcare decisions — not corporations, the Supreme Court, or Greg Abbott.
As Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick celebrate the reduction of access to some of the most important and cost effective methods of birth control available, the choice this November couldn't be more clear: the men at the top of the Republican ticket are more concerned about religious freedom than women's healthcare, and trust corporations more than individual Texans when it comes to important healthcare decisions. Texans deserve better than this GOP ticket.