Today the Supreme Court said that a company can deny women coverage for contraceptives based on the religious beliefs of that company. You might say, wait, a company isn’t a person, how can it have religious beliefs? Well, following its Citizens United ruling, this court seems to care more about companies than people. And after today it’s clear the court also cares more about the “rights” of companies than the reproductive rights of their workers.
But today’s decision has even broader implications and ramifications than its creepy transgression into the reproductive decisions of women. Because of today’s decision I predict we will see corporations more and more interfering in our personal health choices and decisions. As we move further from a fee-for-service medical system, how we receive medical care will more and more be determined by what type of health insurance and providers we see. Today’s ruling gives corporations and employers a completely inappropriate amount of leverage in deciding what type of health care we receive.
I could rail for 2 hours against the technical inconsistencies made against contraception by Hobby Lobby in the Supreme Court case, but I’ll spare you that diatribe and let Justice Ginsburg sum up the potential ramifications more eloquently:
“In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs…. Would the exemption the Court holds RFRA demands for employers with religiously grounded objections to the use of certain contraceptives extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations (Christian Scientists, among others)?”
In a 5-4 decision, all three women voted against the decision. All of those in the majority were old men. What a stunning coincidence.