Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hold On To Your Reproductive Rights, Ladies!

The fight for the reproductive rights of American women is ramping up.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday that the government cannot force certain employers to pay for birth control was more than a rebuke to President Obama. It was vindication of the conservative movement’s efforts to chip away at laws it finds objectionable by raising questions of freedom of expression. 
 The decision — like several recent rulings from the justices and lower courts involving prayer at town meetings and protests outside abortion clinics — carved out a significant, albeit narrow, legal exception in the context of a broader cultural fight that social conservatives have been unable to win outright.  
The ruling comes as social conservatives have suffered setbacks on another high-profile social issue, same-sex marriage, and leaders predicted Monday’s decision would infuse Republicans with energy as they fight to take control of the Senate this year and reclaim the White House in 2016.  
“The court has made clear today that the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom in this case went too far,” said Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of several conservative Republicans weighing a White House run. “But this assault will not stop in our courts, in our schools and in the halls of power.”    New York Times Jul 1, 2014

Corporations are (not) people, my friends.  But apparently SCOTUS thinks they are. Yesterday's ruling on the Hobby Lobby case has given companies the right to decide if they want to support your contraceptive choices, on the grounds of religious beliefs.  In other words, if they don't believe in your method of contraception, they aren't going to pay for it.  

I suppose it makes sense on the surface.  I mean, why should a Christian Science employer pay for any kind of medical insurance?  After all, "sickness is an illusion that can be cured by prayer alone."  They don't need no stinkin' health insurance! 

It does beg the question, where does this end?
...the court ruled that closely held corporations that have religious objections to providing birth control to employees through benefits programs are free to stop doing so...
A number of corporations and nonprofits have signaled their intents to either continue their own pending lawsuits in lower courts, or move forward and drop their birth-control coverage given the Hobby Lobby ruling. The Daily Beast has a tally of 46 corporations and 36 nonprofits with pending cases.   Vanity Fair online 7/01/2014

The willingness of a "closely held corporation" wanting to exercise First Amendment rights  when it comes to what it will and will not honor opens the door to chipping away at women's rights. At what point do we, as a nation, demand the corporation seek the common good?  Why do they have the right to decide my method of contraception  and still not pay me equally for the same job as a man? 

When does the right of a woman to choose prevail?  It costs over $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood today.  Is it a woman's sole fault if she becomes unintentionally pregnant?  No.  But it can and will be her responsibility if she goes it alone, if she has no partner, if she cannot afford to raise a child.  I don't advocate abortion as birth control.  I do advocate my right to choose should I need to make the choice.  

Isn't it much simpler and less painful to take preventive contraceptive measures to avoid having to make that choice?  



The Silver Fox said...

It's disgraceful, and sets a very bad precedent.

California Girl said...

Foxy, some say this will energize the Right ; others think it will mobilize the Left; still others believe it will get more women to vote against these reactionary rev's. Hope it's the latter two.

DJan said...

I also hope it's the latter two. I live in a relatively enlightened state, Washington state, and I'm past the need for birth control, but I simply cannot believe this is a good thing. I hope you are right and people now can see what a Caliphate in the US might look like.

California Girl said...

DJan, I remember the ongoing concern re getting pregnant when I was single & dating. I had a career, I had fun, I didn't want to have a baby. Men don't have to make that choice. And five men determined this ruling Monday. I don't think men should have a say on women's control of their reproductive organs.

bill lisleman said...

This ruling goes along with the earlier one about these people corporations expressing their freedom of speech rights with huge political contributions. I understand the woman's right angle to this but the corporation equal person logic is scary. I wonder if any lawyers are working on the right to bear arms for a corporation?

California Girl said...

Bill, this court was doomed to lean to the Right when Roberts was approved as Chief Justice. He seems to side on the side of his Conservative peers more often than not, one notable exception IMHO being his decision to cast the deciding vote to maintain the Affordable Health Care Act in 2009. This new ruling is the beginning of chipping away at the AHCA which Conservatives so desperately want.

injaynesworld said...

I can no longer see the abbreviation "SCOTUS" without thinking SCROTUM. I've lived long enough to recall when the Court was beyond reproach when it came to integrity and respect. Or at the very least they made every effort to appear that way. These bastards don't even give enough of a crap to try to disguise their extremist views.

California Girl said...

jayne, funny you should make that connection. I bet miore than a few people think "scrotum" as well. I know I have. Thank you for your comments. :)

A Beer For The Shower said...

As John Oliver so brilliantly put it, corporations are indeed not people. Because if they were, GM recently killed 13 people, which in most states would result in the death penalty.

California Girl said...

Beer Boys, thank you for commenting that quote. I haven't heard or seen it and it's dead on. Have to go hunt up the video now. Can you believe "they"re asking Mitt Romney if he's planning to run again in 2016? He's loving the attention.

Pat Tillett said...

One side is trying to move us forward as a nation. The other side is trying to turn back the clock.

When I first heard about the SCOTUS ruling, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I could not believe it. I still can't believe it.

I live in one of the most conservative counties in the country. I've asked many people here to tell me, with specific examples, exactly what the GOP does for them. I have yet to receive an answer that didn't end up being an attack. Usually against the President.

California Girl said...

Pat, the polarization in this country is keeping us from moving forward and allowing the religious right & tea partiers to make progress. More lawsuits are pending from other corporations eager to curtail their insurance responsibilities. Hell, I had a "disagreement" with the almost 40 year old Boston College educated co-worker about a woman's right to decide the other day. He has 2 kids now so he thinks he gets to decide. He didn't feel that way before he had children. Well, I have children and I almost underwent an abortion of the third pregnancy until I mis-carried and I agonized the decision but I still believe it's my body my choice. I thank God all the time for the miscarriage so I don't carry the guilt of an abortion but I'll never change my views.


by Cole Scott