ASPEN, Colo. — Hillary Clinton blasted the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling, announced Monday, that craft chain Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” for-profit companies do not have to provide contraceptives to their employees if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
“I disagree with the reasoning as well as the conclusion," Clinton said during a Facebook Live interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. "I find it deeply disturbing we are going in that direction."
The decision means that thousands of the company’s female employees will not have access through their insurance to intrauterine devices and other forms of contraception their bosses object to. The case is the first to uphold a religious freedom right of a for-profit corporation.
"It's troubling a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception — which is pretty expensive — is not going to get that service through her employer's health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception," Clinton said.
The former secretary of state predicted that as a result of the decision, "many more companies will claim religious beliefs. Some may be sincere, some may not."
“This is a really bad, slippery slope," she said.
Clinton said she made women and girls a priority during her tenure as secretary of state because she saw the rights of women around the world routinely violated.
"Among those rights is control of their bodies," she said. “It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are unstable, anti-democratic and, frankly, prone to extremism, where women’s bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people — men — to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but prop up rulers."
Monday's ruling, Clinton said, "raises serious questions" about how far women's rights have come in the United States — and how far they still have to go.
"Look, we're always going to argue about abortion," Clinton added. "It's a hard choice, and it's controversial, and that's why I am pro-choice."