The Supreme Court ruled Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that family-owned companies are not required to cover some types of contraceptives for employees.
The full consequences of the ruling have yet to be unraveled, but one thing is clear: It could have grave consequences for girls, women and families throughout the developing world.
At issue is the IUD, or intrauterine device, which the defendants in the case — Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties — specifically resisted covering in employee health plans. The IUD is one of the most effective forms of contraception and has spared millions in the developing world from lives of crushing poverty, sickness and early death.
By giving credence to the religious view that IUD use is controversial, the Supreme Court may have inadvertently opened a door for attacks on federal support for IUDs and other lifesaving family-planning options that can affect women’s health beyond the United States’ borders. …