One Step Forward, A Mile Back
I was absolutely appalled at yesterday’s SCOTUS decision to allow family run companies to deny birth control coverage to their female employees while citing their deep religious beliefs. I grew up in a world where women had the right to choose what is best for their bodies and I had hoped that when I decided to have children that if I had girls, they’d have those same rights. But sadly, this is a giant leap backwards and I’m not so sure anymore that that will be the case.
I have so many issues with this ruling. So. Many. Issues. I’m not entirely sure where to begin, but let’s get started anyway:
Three years ago, I thought the suggestions that corporations are people was a joke by just another ultra-religious lunatic. But thanks to yesterday’s decision, I was wrong. Our nation’s highest court actually handed us a precedent that ultimately says that businesses can have religious beliefs. And that it’s totally fine for those religious beliefs to take away the rights of certain segments of their employees.
And as if this wasn’t enough, I took to blogs and Facebook posts and was even more dismayed to find that so many of the people defending this position on social media platforms are women. Yes, traitors to our own uteri. Here are some of the arguments I’ve seen in favor:
“People are free to choose where they work. If they don’t like the decision, they can get a job somewhere else.”
Ah yes, because if some of these people had other options they would actually choose to work at Hobby Lobby. Not all of us are fortunate to get to do something we enjoy for a company that shares our values. Some people have to support families and sometimes that means taking any job. And I don’t know how things are by you, but the economy isn’t exactly booming again. At least not for those with entry-level skills.
“Birth control is cheap. They can just go buy it themselves.”
This is another one of my favorites. See, I don’t know if you know how employer-sponsored healthcare works, but here’s how it goes. You have premiums – sometimes very large ones – deducted from your check and then you pay for all of your other medical expenses on top of that. So essentially you’re suggesting that despite the ACA intending for women to no longer have to pay for birth control, that women should continue to double pay for it. Once through their premiums and once through filling a prescription for it.
“They’re not limiting ALL birth control, just the ones that cause abortions.”
I love this one. No really, I do. When this argument comes across my screen, I want to call Teva Pharmaceuticals – manufacturer of Plan B – and ask them why they aren’t all over this like stink on shit. Here’s the thing…the ACA created minimum standards that all plans have to meet and by using your religious beliefs to “trump” scientific fact just isn’t okay. None of the four treatments opposed by Hobby Lobby in this case cause abortion. They prevent pregnancy.
These drugs in question do not cause abortions. Period. End of story.
“If you can’t afford birth control, just don’t have sex.”
Yes, because abstinence education has been proven to be supremely effective, right? Here’s the deal, birth control medications are used to treat a wide array of medical conditions that have nothing to do with pregnancy. Not every medication works for every person and ultimately why is a corporation getting the right to interject themselves in what should be a conversation between a patient and her doctor?
No really, why is any of this even up for debate? What a person chooses to do to their body is their choice and a company shouldn’t have the right to use religious beliefs as a basis for denying coverage. Especially when said company purchases its products from China – a country known for being pro-abortion and when said company invests in mutual funds that then invest in the pharmaceutical and medical device companies they are using as a basis for their case. Forbes has an interesting counter-article, which I find shockingly ignorant considering their writers are supposed to be financial gurus. Companies do get to pick where their investments are. They can and do narrow down options for employees and the information about what companies mutual funds invest in is public knowledge.
If Hobby Lobby actually cared about these issues instead of using this as a platform to take away women’s rights, they would have made better choices and not be so hypocritical. But then again, hypocritical is the common denominator when it comes to the ultra-religious. At least in my experience.
Here’s the thing – whether you have a uterus or not, you came from one, so this affects you in some way. When we start taking away other people’s rights, it’s a really slippery slope. Sure, you may not care because it doesn’t directly affect you. Maybe you’re religious and you don’t believe in abortion. That’s all fine. You have the right to think that. Just like I have the right to not believe in a higher being and to believe that whatever you choose to do with your body is just dandy.
You don’t have the right to impose your religious and personal beliefs on me. You don’t have the right, as a corporation to tell me what I can and cannot do. And if we just shut up and accept this, what’s next? What other rights are we allowing them to take away? And how long is it going to be before you wake up and realize that everything that was great about being an American doesn’t exist anymore?