The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that for-profit employers (Hobby Lobby) with religious objections (definitely Hobby Lobby) can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.
Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain owned by evangelical Christians, had some beef with the Obamacare stipulation that employers must provide health insurance coverage for contraception. The owners of Hobby Lobby challenged this provision, arguing that it violated their religious freedom.
According to the Hobby Lobbies, life begins at conception and any contraceptives such as Plan B, Next Choice, or Ella, that would prevent a woman’s ovaries from releasing an egg that could be fertilized after unprotected sex, is tantamount to murder (despite the general scientific consensus that the contraceptives are not equivalent to abortion.) Oh, and they also object to long-term birth control methods such as IUDs, which can cost women up to $1,000. Anyways, Hobby Lobby complained all the way up to the Supreme Court and, for some reason, five old men on the Supreme Court took their side.
The court’s four more liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and expressed concern that the majority decision could open the door to other corporations seeking to withhold coverage for other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs.
Hillary Clinton also expressed her dissent, calling the Hobby Lobby case “deeply disturbing.”
“It’s the first time that our court has said that a closely held corporation has the rights of a person when it comes to religious freedom, which means the corporation’s … [‘closely held’] employers can impose their religious beliefs on their employees, and, of course, denying women the right to contraceptives as part of a health care plan is exactly that,” she said. “I find it deeply disturbing that we are going in that direction.”
“It’s very troubling that a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who need contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception,” Clinton said.
Despite the disagreement over the ruling, the craft store is now free to drop contraceptives from its workers’ health insurance plans. Viagra is still up for grabs though. Hobby Lobby has made no indication that it plans to limit men’s access to penis pills and pumps. Well, I guess curing erectile dysfunction encourages procreation… but what about vasectomies? Hobby Lobby doesn’t personally object to covering vasectomies for men… much like it doesn’t personally object to buying the majority of its products from China, which effectively has a government-mandated forced abortion policy and where Christians are persecuted regularly…