“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” -SCJ Ginsburg

I’m pissed. I’m not calm. I’m not relaxed. My arguments are reasoned, my points are true, but I am incensed and I’m not going to keep that out of this. Sarcasm ahead.

Hobby Lobby won. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that private business owners 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?
-preventing migraines
-treating acne
-treating Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
-treating Endometriosis
-treating Dysmenorrhea
-treating Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Many forms of birth control offer a decreased chance of:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
-Ovarian cancer
-Ovarian cysts
-Endometrial cancer
-Benign breast tumors and cysts
-Ectopic pregnancy

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. Onto the minefield we tread.

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.


24 thoughts on ““The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” -SCJ Ginsburg

    1. Yes it has. There are already companies proclaiming that they will claim the religious exemption. I wonder whose job it will be to sift through all the applications. A milk company has proclaimed that they won’t cover anything that stops procreation. I wonder if that includes vasectomies. The dominoes are already falling.

    2. John I highly disagree she is stating facts… and is very passionate about reason and evidence its what we ask should take the time to do, you know it takes work to be ignorant to.

      1. Hi Nat, with all due respect, which “facts” are you doubting? I think these few lines sum up the decision perfectly:

        “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?”

        I hope, I really do, that some Muslim now picks up this ball and seriously runs with it, petitioning the court by citing this precedent. As an outsider looking in, I think this is a lesson you Americans are going to have to learn the hard way, again, as it seems your Justices have forgotten one of the main reasons why many of your first settlers fled to the New World in the first place: to escape religious tyranny in Europe.

        1. John, I think Natalie misunderstood your first comment. I don’t think she realize that you were referring to the Supreme Court. Her counter was that she thought you were saying Madalyn didn’t use facts in her OP.

    1. Would you support a Muslim business owner (a deli owner, perhaps) forcing his female employees to wear a burqa to satisfy his religious modesty requirements?

  1. Been meaning to comment on this for a while. I was utterly horrified when I read about it. No offence meant, but my first thought upon seeing the news was, “This makes me extremely glad to live in the UK.” The anti-choice/anti-reproductive rights lobbyists seem to have a hell of a lot more political clout in the US (maybe because it’s so much larger and so harder to regulate, or due to the lack of an NHS-like system? I just don’t know).

    1. No offense taken! I would have been glad to read about it from different shores! I think the decision was a confluence of things. We are in the midst of a culture war, especially where human rights is concerned.

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