So now that the initial furor over the whole Hobby Lobby birth control thing has passed and we have moved on to more important things like; how is Honey Boo Boo doing? and when is the next season of Keeping Up in the Kardashians? It’s time to look at the Supreme Court decision with an open eye.
Initially I thought they were crazy. From what I was understanding Hobby Lobby basically didn’t want to have their insurance include options for birth control. Crazy, right? What sort of place tells women, basically making minimum wage, that they can’t get birth control unless they pay for it? Wouldn’t a store WANT women to have birth control. They can’t fire you for getting pregnant, so it’s in a store’s best interest that women have birth control.
But it turns out that’s not what they were saying at all. Hobby Lobby, to their credit, was saying that birth control is fine, just not birth control that might cause abortions. And what is an abortion?
An Abortion, in their opinion, isn’t some full bellied woman going to a doctor with a vacuum cleaner, it’s a medication that prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. That’s it. Because to a lot of Christians, life begins the moment the guy rolls over and says “sure I’ll call you later. Promise. What was your name?”
But what confused me more than anything was that an employer could pick and choose what services the insurance would pay for. I thought that in general insurance covered a sort of standard group of services. I never imagined that employers could tell insurance companies, “yeah we don’t believe in things that cause abortions, can you take that out of the policy?”
And who does Hobby Lobby think they are, telling people “hey this is against our beliefs, we don’t care what your beliefs are, but we are against it, so you can’t have it!” you almost expect them to stick their fingers in their ears and go, “Nyah Nyah Nyah!” and blow a raspberry.
So, the government, essentially, telling a business “yes you can use your religion to keep services from employees” is really scary. It’s not really this one that’s scary, after all anyone can go to the pharmacy and buy the plan b pill (“or as I call it, plan A” – Amy Schuman). what’s scary is there are a lot of other freaky beliefs out there.
Scientologists don’t believe in mental illness, they think it’s space aliens or something, what if a scientologist-owned company decides not to cover Xanax and Prozac and such. Different religions believe in different things… All of which could be excuses for dropping coverage on services that employees depend on.
Of course, the other side is equally scary. The government shouldn’t really be in the position to decide “hey these are the things that should be covered and these you can drop”. This seems to be where obamacare is headed, a single set of standards for health care, where x is covered and y is not.
But just saying, “we don’t believe in it so you can’t have it” just seems wrong to me. A corporation shouldn’t inflict its values on its employees. Employees should have the right to make their own choices based on their own beliefs. Your boss has no business in your bedroom. It’s easy to say, “well they can go work somewhere else.”
Smeone shouldn’t be forced to make that choice. This is a lot like sexual harassment. One could always say, “hey Jessica is complaining about the staff making suggestive comments, maybe she should quit and go work at Applebee’s.” no, that’s unacceptable. If someone is making sexual comments to an employee, it’s expected to stop. Employers shouldn’t get to tell you what you do in your private time, whether it’s smoking, drinking, or having sex.