The conflict, as I see it, is between members of the Religious Right who believe that they should have a say in how their dollars subsidize the medical care of those who may or may not share their beliefs, on one hand, and those people (well, women) who seek affordable (i.e. insured) medical care for their reproductive health.
To call this ruling by an all-male majority of the SCOTUS a slide down the slippery slope would understated at best.
Who's doing the sliding? SCOTUS men and the rallying Religious Right, shouting about their right to exercise conscientious objections. What slope? The uteruses of women who work for closely held corporations.
This ruling sounds like rape to me.
In a way, it's unsurprising. Rape culture thrives in the United States, where women who are raped are asked what they were wearing when it happened, rather than rapists being held up to close scrutiny for their total violation of other human beings.
If a woman works for a closely held corporation like Hobby Lobby, surely she's asking for the diminishing of her privacy when it comes to her reproductive health. Surely she's asking for her employer to judge what is best for her, and to deny the financial support that makes possible the healthcare her employer deems unacceptable/unethical/unnecessary. Surely someone other than this female employee and her doctor knows best--and if this female employee doesn't agree, she should take herself to some other job, nevermind what it might cost her.
As a woman and a parent, the impact of reduced coverage for reproductive health is not lost on me. My husband and I are extraordinarily fertile. Think of the woman like me, with a partner like my husband, who had plans to have an IUD placed in order to avoid getting pregnant again after her recent pregnancy. She, like me, can't imagine having an abortion if she were to get pregnant, and she, like me, can't afford to have another child. But now, as an employee of Hobby Lobby, she can't afford an IUD, either--as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her scathing dissent in this SCOTUS ruling, "It bears note that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers on the minimum wage." So what does the Hobby Lobby female employee do? Stop having sex with her husband? (Because that wouldn't ruin her marriage relationship--not at all.) Hope she doesn't get raped? (Because that wouldn't happen unless she was asking for it! Obviously!)
This SCOTUS ruling is obscene and frightening. It all comes back to one question for me: What right does any other person have to take away the rights of another--even a woman? And sadly, it seems to come down to the concept of personhood. This ruling affirms the Religious Right's claim that men, fetuses, and corporations are persons--and women are not.
That women aren't persons is the most successful lie of the Western history. The SCOTUS ruling makes it clear that that lie still succeeds in 2014.
As a religious person, I am angry, and I'm praying in fury. How long, o Mother God, till justice rolls down like a river? How long, o Father God, till the patriarchal narrative of "father/male/anyone-in-the-world-other-than-a-woman knows best" is separated from the fine wheat that gives life and burned like the chaff that it is?