Today is a horrifying day in the history of the United States of America. Today, our Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby that a privately held company can avoid covering women’s contraception if doing so collides with the company’s religious beliefs.
Let’s think about this in an over-arching way first. We are saying that companies, corporations, have religious beliefs AND rights. We are saying that a company can distinguish between what it will cover and what it will not cover, but only where women are concerned.
This is disturbing enough.
What I wonder about are the implications for women like me who use “birth control” as a form of hormone replacement therapy. Companies can proclaim in grandiose statements that they will not cover contraception for a woman, but in doing so they are also preventing women from getting the hormonal support they need in the wake of problems like infertility. A woman who cannot access HRT is more prone to organ failure, and that is just the tip of the iceburg. Of course, it would be difficult for a woman to stand up and explain this today, in an era when candidates for the Presidency advise women to just hold an aspirin between their legs to avoid pregnancy. With an audience like that, how can you explain the endocrine system and why some women need to take pills to help their systems work properly?
I wonder about where we go from here. If it is ok for companies to refuse to cover this part of a woman’s health, what could they refuse to cover next? Maybe they will proclaim that they shouldn’t have to pay for a woman’s annual PAP test or breast exam because, I dunno, that’s just all yucky womanly stuff, and hey, if a woman gets cancer it’s probably because she did something to anger God, right? Maybe maternity leave will be the next to go. I mean, it’s not the company’s fault that a woman decided to get pregnant. Besides, isn’t the next logical step to remind women that we should be staying home minding the kids anyway? If you want to have kids stay home all the time, not just the first few months.
I wonder what will be deemed permissible by our ruling body next. Maybe women shouldn’t be allowed to run for office anymore. That 5-4 decision would have probably been less close if those pesky women hadn’t been around, right? And women politicians? We all know everything went downhill politically when women like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren started popping up. Maybe women shouldn’t vote anymore, because they tend to vote for those women politicians.
I’d love to say this is all just hyperbole, but you know, I am really starting to wonder. Who would have thought that less than 100 years after women finally got the right to vote we would have to be clawing our way to have rights in the face of companies that now claim religious beliefs. It sounds like something out of The Onion. Maybe we have all entered into an Onion Universe. That would at least explain a day like today. Nothing else seems to be doing the trick.