President Obama's Affordable Care Act guarantees that every working American woman who wants it may obtain birth control at no cost. Splendid. We think this is a welcome advance in women's rights.
However, some church groups think birth control is evil and sinful. So they're fighting the ACA mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
When this battle began last year, the White House bent over backward to accommodate religious objectors. Church organizations were exempted from an ACA requirement to pay for medical insurance that provides free contraception. Instead, their insurers agreed to pick up the cost. All the church groups need to do is sign a waiver.
But a Catholic nun group that operates nursing homes refuses to sign the waiver, on ground that to do so would be cooperating with sin. On New Year's Eve, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted the nuns a temporary reprieve from compliance, until the high court can hear their case.
This dispute will join other cases filed by highly religious employers who refuse to allow birth control coverage for their female workers.
What's missing, we think, is consideration of the women employees. Why should their bosses be allowed to dictate their private sex lives? Any woman or teenage girl who wants birth control should get it. Religious bosses shouldn't obstruct such a fundamental freedom. We hope the Supreme Court supports this human right.