by Danielle Owen
… And people say that sex education isn’t important. The US Supreme Court will soon provide a ruling on Hobby Lobby’s appeal that Obamacare infringes upon the corporation’s “religious freedom,” or rather, their right to force their religious beliefs on their female employees. The lesser version of superior craft store Michaels has claimed that Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate is “forcing them to violate the law or violate their belief that life begins at conception – a choice no company should have to make.” Apparently, not a single person in the entire corporation knows how to use Google, otherwise it would have taken them five minutes to realize that neither regular birth control nor emergency contraception has anything at all to do with abortion.
How is it that such an ill-informed claim has gone completely unchecked? It may have something to do with the tragic fact that many people still find the idea of women having premarital, consensual sex too scary to think about. Clearly, Hobby Lobby’s fight isn’t actually about saving “innocent lives” or “religious freedom” as they claim it is. If that were true, the corporation wouldn’t be investing in contraception manufacturers. Instead, the entire debate centers on Hobby Lobby’s right to police the sex lives of its female employees.
Frankly, I’m a little scared of the Supreme Court’s eminent ruling: not only is the Court dominated by a five-justice conservative majority, several of the male justices have made clear during arguments that they have little understanding of how birth control actually works, or the multitude of uses the Pill has. A recent report reveals that in Mississippi, sexually active girls are being equated to dirty chocolate, suggesting that the nationwide panic about female sexuality won’t be over soon. Meanwhile, men can still enjoy free coverage of Viagra and penis pumps, as exposed in a hilarious Daily Show segment. However, the blatant ignorance and disregard for facts expressed by Hobby Lobby’s appeal is no laughing matter, not when 60% of women use the pill for reasons other than preventing pregnancy, such as treating ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, and endometriosis.
Stay tuned for the Court’s ruling, which could drastically limit birth control provisions in Obamacare and radically reevaluate the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Danielle Owen is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Image courtesy of UltraViolet.