Repro Wrap: Your Boss May Get to Veto Your Birth Control and Other News

In the biggest story of the week, the Supreme Court has agreed to review complaints over the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which will allow them to decide whether private corporations have the right to deny employees birth control coverage because of the company owners’ “religious or moral” beliefs.

At the center of the battle are two disturbing questions: can an employer make decisions regarding an employee’s health care based on religious beliefs held by the employer but not necessarily the employee, and when does “pregnancy” begin, as those who are suing claim that birth control acts as an abortion and ends a life that they believe begins when sperm meets egg, rather than when that fertilized egg implants and a pregnancy scientifically begins.

Not all religious groups stand behind the vocal minority actively pushing for the exceptions, however. In fact, not even all Catholics are in agreement. Catholics know all too well the dangers of allowing a small but vocal minority to attempt to impose its religious viewpoint upon all people,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, in a statement. “Our bishops, having failed to convince the majority of us to follow their dictates on reproductive health, sexuality and marriage, have attempted to codify their extremist stances into secular law, and thus, impose their will not only on Catholics, but on all Americans. If they and their allies are successful here, it will undermine the religious liberty of every employee in the country.”

The court is expected to hear the case in March, with a ruling in June.

A number of states have proposed “choose life” license plates, and Wisconsin is following suit. However, a proposal to have “Support Planned Parenthood” plates seems doomed before it’s even heard. Ironically, Wisconsin Gov. Scott “defund Planned Parenthood, close most of the clinics in the state, force an unnecessary ultrasound on every pregnant person” Walker says he doesn’t think the whole “war on women” meme will work against him during his next campaign.

Texas has managed to reopen a clinic after finally getting admitting privileges for their doctors, and a court has blocked Indiana’s new law that would have stopped a Planned Parenthood in Lafayette from offering medication abortion by requiring it to have the same building standards as a surgical abortion clinic. Arizona health regulators are currently writing new rules for their own clinics, which are expected to include requiring a doctor with admitting privileges to be on site, even if it is only a medication abortion being performed. In Michigan, anti-choice activists have gathered enough signatures to get a surcharge for insurance plans covering abortion on the ballot. Meanwhile, anti-choice activists in New Mexico, disappointed in the failure of the 20 week ban in Albuquerque, hope to get parental notification introduced in the legislature this year.

Also on the parental notification front, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert wants to have a country wide parental consent law, which would not only require a four day waiting period for any teen seeking an abortion, but would allow any parent to go to court to block his or her child from having the abortion. The bill would be unlikely to pass the senate, but the real intention is no doubt to get a vote on record to use for fodder in the 2014 cycle, so opponents can say they are challenging incumbents who “voted against families or parental rights.”

Speaking of no public support for restrictions, less than half of West Virginia voters are supporting new regulations on the state’s two abortion clinics.

Portland, Maine, has instituted a buffer zone to protect patients from loud, shaming protesters. Now the state’s Attorney General is signaling support for the Massachusetts buffer zone case that the Supreme Court will review this January. Abortion opponents are claiming that not being able to come up to the door of a clinic to try to talk women out of abortions violates their “religious freedom.”

News that Plan B may not work on those who weigh more than 165 pounds is putting many into a panic, but the situation may not be as dire as reports make it sound. Still, Rush Limbaugh thinks its a big, fat conspiracy.

The Louisiana woman charged with feticide after using cocaine is out of jail, and the charges against her have been dropped. However, “pro-family” anti-abortion groups are angry that there aren’t more ways to punish women who use drugs when pregnant, with one advocate stating it is “‘irresponsible’ to rule out holding pregnant women accountable for drug use.” It’s just another reminder of why “personhood” laws are so dangerous, as Lynn Paltrow explained on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

The President awarded feminist icon and women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem with the Medal of Freedom, which of course made conservatives foam at the mouth, claiming it “denigrated” the honor.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim V7 months ago

thanks for the article.

Tania S.
Tania S3 years ago

to each their own

Donna Ferguson
Donna F3 years ago

noted : (

Robby K.
Past Member 3 years ago

Pam- apparently you only read parts of my posts. I tire of repeating mself to someone who can't or won't read. You only seem to like getting on here to argue. We have enough of those. I already said that I ageed that women who need BC for other reasons should be allowed to get it paid for. But this title is BS. Reps are NOT trying to STOP BC. These businesses and some insurance Co's are trying to stop BC fom being paid for- quite a difference there. And it IS about $. Pretty much everything is about $ these days. Again, if you'd just read what I'd already typed, little of this would be neccessary. But if this gets you as worked up as it seems, then again... maybe you should look for another hobby... It's ok- you're still invited to my Christmas party.

pam w.
pam w3 years ago

Robby, oral contraceptives are used to control menopausal symptoms, bleeding during menstrual periods, etc.


This isn't about saving money and you know it....nor is it about taxes. It's about controlling women's personal reproductive freedom.

Robby K.
Past Member 3 years ago

Pam- w/the exception of situations where women need bc for hormonal reasons (which I already alluded to) just what "category of medicines" is bc included in anyway? For the 3rd time, I agree that bc & Viagra (etc) should be treated the same. I am not agaist pre-marital sex. I DO think bc is preferable to accidental birth. I just don't see how one can expect insurance to pay for it. The problem here is, that our taxes are so high & have been abused for so long & spent against the will of so many of the payers that lobbyists & politicians think they can get funds for anything they want just by saying "you'll pay this..." I still wanna know how obamacare will be paid for, Maybe he'll dip into his pockets &/or those of his administratoin (the current crop of worthless republican politcians as well) & find a way.

Carole L.
Carole L3 years ago

Mary H
“What I am not ok with is you killing the person once the sperm and egg units, and I am especially not ok with you forcing me, by law, to pay for it. At this point, it's my life.”

If you want to run my life, pay my bills. Otherwise, butt out. What I am not ok with is 'you' butting in to 'my' private life. How do you feel about paying for aides treatments? Btw, I’m passed child bearing years, so I have no need of bc. However, I do not begrudge others from obtaining such coverage, nor do I mind paying a few extra pennies in premiums to help others of my gender to obtain the coverage they need.

Carole L.
Carole L3 years ago

“Karen H: It's not about controlling employees' lives; it's about forcing someone to commit sin to pay for someone else's sins.”

well, jebus was tortured and died for 'your' sins, and you're whining about ppl getting the healthcare coverage they want.

Mary H
“Carole L: I am perfectly fine with you having sex with every tom, dick and harry if you so desire (that would be sin, btw, since you would not be married to at least two of them, but that's your life, not mine). I am also fine with you preventing the sperm and egg from uniting.”

interesting that you would think I’m partaking in orgies just because I’m for bc in healthcare coverage.

Michelle R.
3 years ago

If only people would just use their common sense instead of their interpretations of books written more than 2000 years ago....wouldn't the world be a much more peaceful and better place to live then?

pam w.
pam w3 years ago

Robby...(and Mary)....insurers pay for contraceptives now....if your issue is just about money, why bring up just THAT category of medicines?

This is all about religiously-inspired hypocrisy and nothing more! Jesus never said anything about contraception and he never said anything about using your religion as a hammer.

He said to love one judge not, lest YE be judged....and to pray in your closet, in private. He never said anything about the kinds of actions YOU both propose.

SOOOOOO Jesusy of you both!