While Hobby Lobby supporters cheer in their victory
trampling women over contraception, I am left disappointed and confused. While the supporters like to tout religious freedom, this feels more like the oppression of other people’s beliefs. It says a corporation’s beliefs are more valid than the individual people who work there. It opens doors to terrifying avenues: Do Muslim owners have to cover certain antibiotic treatments? Should Mormons be required to cover blood transfusions? Suddenly, a corporation with religious liberty is treading on the basic human rights of average citizens.
I think one of the things that bothers me the most about the ruling is the blatant hypocrisy. Not only is it discriminatory against women (Viagra and vasectomies are still offered) and not only does Hobby Lobby invest millions of dollars in “abortion pill” manufacturers, but Hobby Lobby offered Plan B and Ella for years until ACA came into question. You have to be very naive to believe Hobby Lobby is doing this strictly for religious reasons. Hobby Lobby wants to reap the benefits of getting tax exemptions for providing insurance to their employees through ACA but at the same time, doesn’t want to pay for the coverage of certain medications. Essentially, they want to have their cake and eat it, too.
You can have your qualms with the ACA. But it is law now. Companies that employee over 50 people are required by law to offer health insurance (as part of compensation), fully intact, and a list of medications (which include Plan B and IUDs) are to be covered under the ACA or face financial penalties. Meaning, it is a packaged deal. You put in the hours and part of your compensation are your wages and your health insurance. You have paid for that insurance. Businesses don’t get to pick out which bits they want for their employees and which they will discard. Hobby Lobby and other entities are not the employees’ parent. These are grown men and women, capable of making their own choices in congruence with their doctor about what will be right for them.
So, once again in history, women are reduced to second class citizens. This ruling has been a huge setback for us. It seems that in the name of religion, women’s rights tend to take a backseat or get crushed altogether. The conservative right will keep pushing and pushing until we are under their thumb, only a person in the sense that we are incubators, on call to procreate when necessary. November 2014 can’t get here fast enough. #votethemout