Today is a sad day for America. Congratulations to the companies that will now have the ability choose whether or not to support birth control. I hope you are thrilled with your new power.
I get it though, you’re morally opposed with granting people accessibility, via your sponsored funds, to do something you don’t believe in. It would be the equivalent of being vegan and being forced to buy bacon for everyone. Or being opposed to animal testing, but forced to fund it because the government said so. I understand you don’t believe in promoting sex that is not intended to make children. You want that to be on their dime, on their own watch. Not your lawn, not your problem. Why be obligated by the government to do something that is morally against your beliefs? I understand that this will never be the place for government to decide.
I do, however, still see a loss today. That loss is in how we listen to women for their voice on women’s issues.
Ruth Ginsburg had an excellent dissent that I highly recommend you reading or listening to, but in it, she says this:
Would the exemption the Court holds RFRA demands for employers with religiously grounded objections to the use of certain contraceptives extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)?
This introduces a slippery slope of issues and makes me sincerely fear for the well-being of all women. While there may be a slippery slope toward forcing corporations to comply with something against moral obligations, it also makes me worried that we are trivializing women’s issues as casual social phenomena rather than real, life-altering health issues.
For now, though, we can’t do much until they reverse the ruling.
So for those who do morally oppose to birth control, I ask you to consider a few things. Consider the vast numbers of women who use contraceptives for health reasons (PS – Is pregnancy not enough of a health reason, considering the enormous tax it places on your body?). Consider the effect that good family planning has on raising people out of poverty. Consider the number of abortions that wouldn’t have to happen, had they had access to contraceptives in the first place; because abortions and unwanted pregnancies are avoidable. Consider that the number of homeless children will decrease, because they’re born at the time and place when a family can take care of them. Consider that millions of low-income women can finally save up money for college, for themselves and for their future children. Consider all of these things, and realize that you have a choice in changing the world for better. I beseech you to be morally obligated not to enforcing religious creed upon others, but to the service of helping others, and know that you are making a huge difference in their lives if you do choose to be an employer that provides birth control to their employees.
I won’t rob a company of their ability to run an honest business, but this still demonstrates a very real cultural oppression. It doesn’t account for real health concerns that come from NOT taking oral contraceptives. It doesn’t account for women who want to double up on both condoms and hormonal birth control to make sure they don’t get pregnant. It doesn’t account for the women who are so poor that they can’t afford a child OR contraception, and can only hope they don’t get raped between the time they are poor and the time they are a little less than poor. It doesn’t account for the fact that condoms are provided for free at certain health clinics (so if that’s the reasoning for not providing oral contraceptives, they should consider keeping those out of the insurance company’s system of providers). It doesn’t account for women who are married, but don’t want anymore children, and still have religiously sanctioned sex. Most infuriatingly, it doesn’t seem to render any changes to existing coverage of vasectomies.
Maybe it’s demanding to expect people to tolerate non-aligned religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Actually, it is demanding, because it’s not easy. It takes every ounce of willpower from me to not badmouth the people who knock on my door telling me to become a Jehovah’s witness, but I don’t. Because I know they are human beings entitled to their own opinions on faith. It is their right to believe what they want to believe, and say what they want to say. It will never be my place to tell them what is right, for them. However, with that in mind, I only hope other extremely religious people have it in them to realize that their actions as a business will dictate the tone of how they treat their employees and their respective personal views. More specifically, how they want to treat women and their real issues.
I will feel tolerated when we stop letting men decide the fate of women’s contraception availability. I will feel tolerated when the amount of employment opportunities for women increases rather than decreases (because now, women will also have to factor in whether their religious beliefs align with their employers’… a problem that men will never have to experience or understand). I will feel tolerated when women’s sexual preferences, health benefits, & family planning are provided by moral obligation, and not given a price that’s unaffordable to other equally-created humans with lower incomes. I will feel tolerated when my interests as a human being are protected against a corporation’s interests.
I just hope that you, as an employer, truly understand the magnitude of your decision when you make it.
Good reads related to Hobby Lobby: