I'm pissed. I'm not calm. I'm not relaxed. My arguments are reasoned, my points are true, but I am incensed and there's going to be sarcasm ahead.
Hobby Lobby won. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that a private business owner can refuse to cover any contraception if doing so would bother their religious conscience. Justice Alito wrote that the decision "protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control those companies".
Seriously? So now 'religious liberty' means employees are subject to the religious whims of their boss? What about the employees' liberty? No? Nothing? All right then, let's look at the consequences.
Jehovah's Witnesses don't do blood transfusions. Why? Because Religion! That's all you need to know! I grew up as a JW and I can assure you, many of them are business owners. They do their best to only hire other Witnesses, but that doesn't always work out. (Hey, wait! That makes me think. If JWs decide that hiring non-Witnesses is against their faith, do they still have to offer Equal Opportunity Employment? Hmm...) So, does a JW business owner have to cover blood transfusions? For now.
Scientologists aren't supposed to take anti-depressants. Why? Because Religion! That's all you need to know! I sure hope none of them own any businesses seeing as 1 in 10 Americans are on anti-depressants.
Certain sects of Jews, Muslims, and Hindus refuse any and all products made with any part of a pig. Why? Because Religion! That's all you need to know! Don't think that has an effect on health care? Think again. Ever take a pill coated with gelatin? Ever get an IV in the hospital? Ever go under anaesthesia? Yes? Then I hope you aren't their employee! You may well have trampled on their 'religious liberty'!
Christian Scientists (Irony Alert) don't take vaccines, their children are not vaccinated. Why? Because Religion! That's all you need to know! Come to think of it, their faith doesn't just prohibit vaccines. They don't believe in any medicine whatsoever, prayer is the only prescription they take. I assume any CS business owners can go ahead and drop health coverage altogether, right? Wait, what's that Justice Alito?
“Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs. Other coverage requirements, such as immunizations, may be supported by different interests (for example, the need to combat the spread of infectious diseases) and may involve different arguments about the least restrictive means of providing them."
I see, I see. So if only birth control "supported different interests" then 'religious liberty' wouldn't matter quite so much. Wait a second...
Over half of American women say that they use birth control for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. Like what you ask?
-treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
-treating Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Many forms of birth control offer a decreased chance of:
-Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
-Benign breast tumors and cysts
I guess none of that counts though.
I keep hearing that Hobby Lobby just didn't want to cover the forms that could cause an abortion. What's wrong with that?
Other than the fact that your employer's stance on abortion shouldn't effect your life in any way? Science and federal law say they don't cause abortion. Not at all. Not even a little.
“A pregnancy exists once a fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. Prior to that implantation, we do not have a viable pregnancy.” That's according to Dr. Barbara Levy, vice president for health policy for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Federal law agrees with her.
So no - Plan B, Ella, and IUDs do not cause abortions. And if you want to say that life begins at conception, then there is an argument to be made that God has killed more babies than all abortions combined - as many as 50% of all pregnancies end before women even know they're pregnant.
It doesn't actually matter how the birth control prevents pregnancy since SCOTUS broadened the ruling to state that any of the twenty types of birth control listed in the Affordable Care Act can be denied, not just the four kinds Hobby Lobby had a problem with. Can we stop pretending now?
SCOTUS has set a precedent that makes it possible to argue that Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, and any other person that can slap a 'Church' sign on their door and 'sincerely believe' can come between employees and doctors. It's dangerous and it could happen based on this decision, but I don't think it will. If Sandra Fluke taught us anything, it's that sexual health care is only controversial when it's for women. After all, Hobby Lobby still covers Viagra and vasectomies.
Hey, remember when I wondered if Jehovah's Witnesses would be able to legally discriminate against non-Witnesses when hiring? Well, that's not happening, JWs like to try to stay out of the news. But it seems that a group of religious leaders have already thought of a way this ruling could help them discriminate against potential employees. You see, they don't want to hire any LGBT individuals. That took all of a day.
The five Catholic men that voted in favor of Hobby Lobby have told the women of America that their health is subject to someone else's feelings. Why? Because Religion. That's all you need to know. And besides, it doesn't affect them.
Originally appeared on Wary Wonderlust