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Why the Hobby Lobby Birth Control Case Matters

Why the Hobby Lobby Birth Control Case Matters

Were going to get a little bit political up in here today. Lets talk a bit about the Hobby Lobby birth control case and what it means.

As consumers, we vote with our wallets. When we spend money at Hobby Lobby, we are essentially telling the owners of that company that we support their political viewpoints. These companies donate to political campaigns and challenge federal law with the money we spend there. For a mindful crafter, it’s important to know not just where our materials come from but who’s profiting when we buy them.

Related: Hobby Lobby to Jewish Crafters: We dont cater to you people.

I’ve been holding back on saying too much about the Hobby Lobby birth control case. I know that birth control is a touchy subject, and cases like these tend to have consequences that don’t become clear right away. Cosmopolitan recently debunked some myths about this Supreme Court decision, though, and a good bit of that information felt like it was worth sharing here.

The Cosmo article focuses on myths about the case, and what I’d like to lay out here are some key facts, including the implications of this decision.

Whether you agree or disagree with what Hobby Lobby is doing, I hope that youll seriously consider the precedent that the Hobby Lobby birth control decision sets. Because the next decision like this may not align with your beliefs.

Fact 1: Hobby Lobby isnt denying all of its employees birth control, but thats not the whole story.

There are four types of birth control that Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to cover: Plan B, Ella, and two sorts of IUD. They will still cover the pill. This Hobby Lobby birth control decision means that other companies will be able to deny employees coverage for the birth control pill, however. In fact, Eden Organic Foods just filed suit to do that very thing.

The Cosmo piece also points out that denying women coverage for IUDs means that  women who can’t use hormonal birth control are up a creek.

Fact 2: This decision implies that corporations can hold religious beliefs.

This is scary. I don’t agree with Hobby Lobby’s beliefs about birth control, but even if you do, this SCOTUS decision should shake you up as much as Citizens United. The Citizens United case ruled that corporations are people. This case took that precedent and added that corporations are people with religious beliefs that may exempt them from federal laws.

What if your boss felt that covering a medication you rely on violated his religious beliefs? This case opens the door for employers  to intrude on the private relationship that you have with your doctor.

Fact 3: Birth control doesnt just prevent pregnancy.

We’ve established that this decision has the potential to impact all birth control coverage, not just the four types that Hobby Lobby wants to deny its employees.

Hormonal birth control, for example, helps women regulate our cycles and prevents painful ovarian cysts. As a woman who deals with recurring cysts I find it very worrisome that employers can now decide that my medical condition is less important than their religious beliefs.

Fact 4: Quitting your job isnt always an option.

“Find a different job” seems to be a common refrain in this debate. If you want birth control that your company’s plan doesn’t cover, just find another job. Just like that.

There are two problems here. First, have you tried to find a job lately? It’s not so easy. Second, this decision covers “closely held” companies. Ninety percent of the companies in the U.S. fit this definition. That makes “find another job” an even taller order, and not one that a minimum wage Hobby Lobby employee would have an easy time filling.

Beliefs aside, the Hobby Lobby birth control case impacts all of us.

I completely understand that birth control is controversial. Religion is controversial. But the Hobby Lobby birth control case is bigger than our personal beliefs. Whether you think all birth control is immoral or support birth control coverage for every person who wants it, this decision should trouble you.

The Hobby Lobby birth control decision implies that corporations are above the law. Corporations can now claim religious exceptions any time they don’t want to do something mandated by law. It’s the top of a slippery slope, and there’s a good chance that we will all lose on the way down.

photo credit: Light Brigading via photopin cc

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71 comments

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1:20PM PDT on Jul 29, 2014

It's a scary verdict for the reasons above and many, many more

6:17AM PDT on Jul 19, 2014

Thanks

12:21PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

thanks

8:27AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Karen, My Anthem policy has never covered 'Mirena ' evidently, this insurance company finds this product/IUD too expensive- Anthem, will however, cover alternative forms of birth control- where is your outrage towards Insurance companies refusing to cover 'My choice' of birth control?.....As for Viagra covered- you're posting as if HL is paying for dirty old men to have sex, & refusing birth control for women, that is not the case....Again, Plan B is over the counter, you have the choice to purchase it 24-7- IUD's are not covered by some of the largest insurance companies in the US---

7:10PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

Kate R, when a woman has to choose between a health plan or the rent, she’s going to put her money toward the rent. Her husband, who might work at Hobby Lobby, gets his Viagra covered by HL’s policy. That is elitism. Like many “deeply religious” people, HL believes MEN have more rights than women.

2:17PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

@SCOTUS is a terrorist. -@Gloria,.....- Onlookers cheered as the Taliban tortured and executed a woman for adultery in the village of Qimchok - a turban-clad man approaches a woman kneeling in the dirt and shoots her five times at close range with an automatic rifle, to cheers of jubilation from the 150 or so men watching in a village in Parwan province.“Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it’s the wrong way,” another man says as the shooter gets closer to the woman. “It is the order of Allah that she be executed”. honey, This is what a terrorist looks like- your ignorant, appalling, analogy is an embarrassment to women-

2:17PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

@SCOTUS is a terrorist. -@Gloria,.....- Onlookers cheered as the Taliban tortured and executed a woman for adultery in the village of Qimchok - a turban-clad man approaches a woman kneeling in the dirt and shoots her five times at close range with an automatic rifle, to cheers of jubilation from the 150 or so men watching in a village in Parwan province.“Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it’s the wrong way,” another man says as the shooter gets closer to the woman. “It is the order of Allah that she be executed”. honey, This is what a terrorist looks like- your ignorant, appalling, analogy is an embarrassment to women-

10:41AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

SCOTUS is a terrorist.

9:04AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

Karen @' It's religious elitism'- well its a good thing we are grown, independent women that don't need a 'big business' owner making our choices regarding our healthcare-we have the CHOICE to take advantage of the birth control options on our plan, or we have the CHOICE to purchase our own private insurance---If you want Hobby Lobby to stay out of your Uterus, then don't ask them to pay for your Uterus----

3:56AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing, don't shop there anyway but probably won't to be honest.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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