Today, the Supreme Court ruled that some companies have the right to opt out of the new health law that requires coverage of contraceptives for women. This ruling is a very controversial decision as it is allowing for-profit businesses to exercise their religious views over their employees’ rights. Those rights equal the state. Those views equal religion. So much for separation of church and state! The biggest offender? Hobby Lobby, which carries products geared towards women and employs a large number of ladies. So, if you work for a company that’s owned by religious people, say goodbye to free contraceptives. Your rights are apparently not your own. Your views are irrelevant. Your body belongs to the almighty Jesus even if you don’t believe he exists.
Hobby Lobby, the craft store and its corporate company, should be ashamed of itself. Their workforce and shoppers are largely women and yet, their efforts to take away birth control rights are one giant slap in the face to those who work hard for them and put money into their registers. The Oklahoma-based company has over 15,000 full-time employees and more than 600 stores in 41 states. It’s owned by evangelical Christians (shocker!), which explains why they are the biggest company fighting Obama’s birth control provision. Now, I am not very good at math, but even I know that effects boatloads of women who may or may not hold their religious views. The contraceptives at issue before the court were the emergency contraceptives Plan B and ella, and two IUDs. Why is this such a problem you ask? Because religious nuts would rather hurt women than kill something they equate to a baby, even though it’s not even conceived or developed into anything yet. I can understand religious organizations that don’t pay taxes being exempt from such a requirement. You pretty much know what you’re getting into when you work for them, but a craft store? How dare they hold such immense power over hourly employees who just need to work to get by?
You might say, I have no stake in this argument. Except that I am a woman (duh). AND that I am a crafter and might have to buy something from Hobby Lobby in a pinch if there’s no Michaels in the area. I would never work for such a company, but I sympathize with women who have to because they have no other options. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything from them and I definitely won’t now. Moves like this make my blood boil. I usually avoid talking politics and religion in public forums, but this time, the gloves are off. One day, we’ll look back at these moments and wonder how humans could be so primitive in 2014?!
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision “potentially sweeping” because it shows the government isn’t interesting in making laws universal for all companies. Ginsburg said, ” it discounts the disadvantages religion-based opt outs impose on others, in particular, employees who do not share their employer’s religious beliefs.” From Wikipedia: In September 2012, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the United States over new regulations requiring health insurance provided by employers to cover emergency contraceptives, stating that, “(t)he Green family’s religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices.”
So, let’s get this straight. Hobby Lobby is arguing that the Affordable Care Act violates their religious views and therefore they do not have to offer birth control to their employees as part of their coverage. This translates to Hobby Lobby assuming their employees feel the same as they do. This assumes women who work for them must all be Christian and therefore hold the same beliefs even if having a child would ruin their life. This kind of mis-use of the Constitution and “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is so fucked! It’s fucked up because it’s using the very same logic of freedom to prevent female employees from having freedom. In a nutshell, the federal government cannot “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion,” even if the burden results from a general law intended to apply to everyone. Again, fucked!
It is one thing for the Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, to be closed on Sunday and religious holidays. It’s bad enough that they force their shoppers and staff to listen to Christian tunes over the loud speaker. It’s bad enough they don’t offer holiday decor for the Jewish and other religions. But, it’s quite something else for them to tell their staff they cannot have the same basic human rights the rest of the country is entitled to. Yes, you might say, you don’t have to work for them if you don’t agree, but that’s looking at it from our upper middle class bubble. It might be Hobby Lobby or unemployment with a household full of kids to feed. In fact, if you work for them, you probably do have a household full of kids to feed because well, you can’t get birth control. Sorry ladies, you’re just going to have to carry something for 9 months and provide for it for 18 years because your boss and the federal government made you do it. Again, fucked! I am so ashamed of this ruling. I am ashamed of our country and their disregard for women. One day, we will look at this as insane. Until then, this is reality. This is reality for a lot of women who just need a job. This has to get overturned. This can’t be the way we treat people in 2014 or is it?