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NEWS & IDEAS

After Hobby Lobby, A Wave of Storytelling

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that not all “closely-held” corporations are required to comply with Obamacare’s Contraceptive Care mandate. Companies with religious convictions that conflict with contraception can refuse to provide it for their employees. In her 35-page dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the court “has ventured into a minefield.” This decision may be the first of many that rules in favor of corporations rather than individuals. CNN’s analysis asked, “Will [such businesses] be allowed to refuse to do business with people in same-sex marriages? All sorts of questions arise from this decision,” even beyond reproductive rights. 

While many critics have wondered “how far could this go?” others have spoken out with stories close to home. Women have illustrated situations in which they were able to assert their right to choose. They aren't necessarily Hobby Lobby inspired, which makes them all the more important. No matter what the Supreme Court rules, abortion is a reality we should talk about. Some of these stories are surprisingly funny, some are painful, others are matter-of-fact. All of them show that abortion happens, and it’s a decision women shouldn’t have to make alone. 

Lucy Flores is a Democratic member of the Nevada State Assembly and this year she’s running for lieutenant governor. She’s not afraid to tell her personal story: Flores dropped out of high school and did time in juvenile prison before getting her GED and earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from USC. In an MSNBC profile titled, “Is Lucy Flores the Latina star Democrats have been waiting for?” writer Benjy Sarlin mentioned Flores’ own abortion story, which she’d told while testifying on a Nevada sex-education bill in 2013. 

Flores had six sisters, all of whom were pregnant in their teens. Flores only avoided motherhood because, at 16, she got an abortion. She didn’t know about birth control, and she didn’t have access to it. Though she received a deluge of death threats from anti-choicers, Flores says, “I don’t regret it because I am here making a difference, at least in my mind, for many other young ladies and letting them know that there are options and they can do things to not be in the situation I was in, but to prevent.”

Polling data showed that 59 percent of people like Flores more after hearing her life story, and her strength has earned her the hashtag #FierceFlores. We hope her brave admission will inspire other politicians to speak candidly about their pasts while working towards a freer future. 

Hear more of Flores’ story, and click through to see other powerful women's reactions to Hobby Lobby.

Photo Credit Erik Verduzco

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