Unless you’ve been living in a make-shift tent in the woods, you’ve heard about the Supreme Court’s ruling concerning Hobby Lobby and their apparent refusal to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. Being a strong supporter of birth control and its availability to all women, this both troubled me and absolutely infuriated me. I can, however, understand the other side of the issue: should we be allowing the government to mandate what a corporation will and will not cover in its insurance plans? Is the government flirting with micromanagement?
Before I continue, we need to examine how this decision will affect women if their employer decides against offering contraceptive coverage:
- Standard birth control pills are covered by Hobby Lobby, Inc. This is a huge misunderstanding. Monthly oral contraceptives will be covered by insurance for Hobby Lobby employees. However, other employers are able to cite that even oral contraceptives are against their religious beliefs. Though it is a relief that Hobby Lobby will be covering standard contraceptives, don’t get too comfortable because
- IUD birth control is not covered by Hobby Lobby, Inc. IUDs have increasingly been prescribed by doctors and health professionals throughout the United States because of their low failure rate (less than 1 pregnancy/100 women) compared to traditional oral contraceptives (about 9 pregnancies/100 women). Not only are their failure rates stellar, they are more convenient for women to use, as they don’t have to worry about skipping a dose. Hobby Lobby’s reasoning? IUDs can be used as emergency contraception (which, in their eyes, is nothing short of abortion). In reality, a very minuscule number of women use IUDs for that reason. Many doctors will perform ultrasounds and pregnancy tests before administering an IUD to women for that reason. Hobby Lobby employees who are using IUDs are looking at about a $900 charge. Although IUDs last about 12 years (barring any kind of complication, which HAS happened), it’s overwhelming for a woman making minimum wage.
- Emergency contraceptives (Plan B, or the “morning after pill”) are not covered by Hobby Lobby, Inc. Hobby Lobby essentially sees the morning after pill as a form of abortion, but any person with basic medical knowledge knows that this is not true. Emergency contraceptives do not cause abortions. In fact, they are used before pregnancy even begins. EC will NOT work if a woman is already pregnant.
This, friends, is my question: why is a Christian company that is vocal about their opposition to abortions denying their employees affordable access to birth control? Why is a company that is so incredibly hell bent on “saving the unborn” turning a blind eye to a solution to rising abortion rates? Increased availability to contraceptives has been proven to reduce abortion rates by 75% nation wide. 75%. Is Hobby Lobby that ignorant, or are they just set on punishing women for “promiscuity”? For me, it’s not about the issue of coverage, it’s the issue of blatantly rejecting a solution to a problem. This decision not only sheds light on the awful state of women’s health in this country, it also gives us a look into the extremely complicated and flawed nature of the pro-life movement. It’s not about saving babies, it’s about punishing women for having unapproved sex.
All statistics and information cited from TIME Magazine and Princeton University’s Office of Population Research.
The entire syllabus for Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. can be found here:http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf