Birth Control, Hobby Lobby, and Common Sense

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby does not have to pay for providing birth control to its employees. Some people have claimed this is next door to fascism. Others have claimed this is an open door to anarchy. And many have claimed this closes the door for access to birth control for the employees of Hobby Lobby. None of those claims are even remotely close to the truth.

We should be clear about a a few things. I have no objection to birth control medicine. Or women using it. And I do agree it should be easier to access. But none of that means someone else should be coerced into paying for it. That women should have access to birth control does not mean employers should be forced to pay for it. That an individual wants something is not enough of a reason to demand someone else provide it.

So yes, I do support the right of the Hobby Lobby owners to not pay for birth control for their employees. Businesses should not be required to provide any health insurance.

Now some people seem to think that the Hobby Lobby decision means the SCOTUS has said that employers may deny their employees access to birth control medicine. SCOTUS did not say that. And the owners of Hobby Lobby did not try to get them to do that. The ruling only said that Hobby Lobby does not have to pay for it. In truth, the only real change that the ruling makes is that instead of Hobby Lobby paying for the birth control medicine, the insurance company pays for it.

And no, not paying for birth control does not deny access to birth control. Neither is it forcing anything on someone who wants birth control. The mental contortions that result in the conclusion “you not paying for what I want is you unfairly imposing your will on me, so therefore the only fair thing is for you to be forced to pay for what I want,” are a bizarre spectacle. Or they would be if they were not so common.

But even more bizarre is the idea I saw put forth that the ruling opens the door to companies claiming the right to refuse to obey any law at all on the grounds of religious freedom. Which the ruling does not even come close to doing. The ruling did not even say that the owners of Hobby Lobby had First Amendment grounds to object to paying for birth control. The SCOTUS ruling used the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act as the basis for deciding in favor of Hobby Lobby.

All that the act requires is that before violating someone’s religious liberties, the government demonstrates that it had no other way to achieve its ends. […] What’s more, [SCOTUS] went out of their way to assure that the ruling applies only to “closely held” companies whose religious convictions are co-extensive with their business practices, not to publicly owned corporations with diffuse ownership.

To placate concerns that the ruling would lead us tumbling down a slippery slope, encouraging other religious dissenters to object to say, vaccination coverage, the justices wrote that in situations when “public health” concerns are implicated there might be no less onerous way to achieve government objectives than trampling religious liberties.

—Shikha Dalmia, “Why is the Left Not Cheering For a Mom’s Right to Keep Her Meager Subsidies?

The point here being that this is a very narrow legal decision. Which is to say, it was tailored to have a very narrow and specific application. It is in no way a broad licence to do illegal things in the name of religion.

What I understand the least in all of this hyperbolic and ignorant denouncing of the SCOTUS ruling is the way all these arguments unintentionally (I guess) imply that women all need someone else to pay for the things they want. Apparently women need men like a fish needs a bicycle but they need government insuring other people buy them things like a parasite needs a host. No, of course they don’t. That was a horrible thing to say. But some of them sure do talk like it’s true.

Similarly, where are the calls to make birth control medicine available over the counter, i.e. without a prescription? Over the counter birth control would drive the already pretty low costs of birth control pills down even further. Is the goal to make this stuff more accessible to women or not?

And why the claims that people unwilling to buy birth control for others are necessarily misogynist? That is just petulant, adolescent whining. “If you don’t buy me what I want, then you hate me!” It is just childish nonsense.

Then there are the people who object to Hobby Lobby not wanting to pay for birth control because they say that birth control and women’s health care is none of their employer’s business. Then why do you insist your employer pay for it? Insisting your employer should be made pay for something that is none of his business is intellectually incongruous. If it is none of your employer’s business, then keep your employer out of it.

I am not arguing that anyone has to agree with the religious convictions of the owners of Hobby Lobby. But maybe the critics of the SCOTUS ruling should all take a few moments to breathe.

Now then, I saved the worst for last. Some people want to claim that the SCOTUS ruling in the Hobby Lobby case is in some way fascism. No, there is nothing fascist about saying the government cannot make people do a thing to which they object. If you really want to know what gets close to fascism, I will give you a clue. Fascism is a particularly horrible form of authoritarianism. Fascism seeks to control society in the name of the common good. It seeks to control people, to make them conform to specific ideals, to force them to specific behavior. So here is the clue: forcing people to act against their religious convictions, to force other people to conform to specific ideals by coercing them into paying for something they find objectionable, that is much closer to fascism than the SCOTUS ruling. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Yes, students, I know. You are wondering when I will get back to talking about D/s and posting smut. Be patient. All in due time, students. I should have a D/s post up in a few days. Possibly a new assignment within a week or so. More posts are on the way. I am not quite back in the rhythm of this, but I am getting there.

Remember to keep breathing. Be good. Keep on keepin’ on.

4 Responses to “Birth Control, Hobby Lobby, and Common Sense”

  1. Wow, great article! I highly enjoyed reading this and loved your witty remark, “stick that in your pipe and smoke it.” You told them, don’t worry I got more then that comment out of the post. Yes, I’m looking forward to your smut, but quite enjoyed your article. Keep them coming.

  2. ladymischief715 Says:

    Well written and explained, however as someone with a bit more inside information, i would like to point out that the case was not about ALL birth control, merely the four which are classified as “Plan B”.

    • That is true, and I was remiss in not pointing that out. Thank you.

      • ladymischief715 Says:

        My apologies for the delay in responding, Sir. You are welcome, though my intent was more to be sure that others knew. Be well, Sir. i enjoy Your posts, even if i do not always agree. Your posts are well reasoned and it is a pleasure to read them. Thank You.

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