Friday, July 04, 2014

Hobby Lobby unhappiness

SCOTUS handed down a very disappointing decision in the Hobby Lobby case. I am frustrated and disappointed and angry and saddened and feel powerless.

These are awful feelings to have.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 58.1% of women in the workforce in the United States. The incomes these women earn and the subsequent taxes they pay help to pay for roads, emergency services, and tax breaks that are given to corporations.

That public road leading up to your Hobby Lobby store, women's tax revenue helped pay for that. The fire truck that was dispatched when your store caught on fire, women's tax revenue helped pay for that, too. And when the state offered you tax breaks to set up your business, women's tax revenue helped pay for that.

We live in a pluralistic society, we won't agree on everything. But I do expect a fairer shake for myself and every other woman than we've been given. Just as my taxes are used for things that I do not agree with, so should yours. Believing in a given religion should not be an automatic opt out card of society when you derive many of the benefits of that society.

In the wake of this decision, and this one, too, I'd like to suggest the following:

1. We make all forms of birth control available over the counter.*
2. We give all women of child-bearing years an annual stipend to pay for contraceptives out of pocket.
3. For any women wanting an IUD, we set up a processing center where requests are received and payment is issued, with zero bureaucracy since having to go through this process is burdensome enough.
4. Any female employee who works for a company with an insurance plan that does not cover birth control, can opt out of said insurance and sign up for insurance under the ACA, with subsidies to cover the cost in its entirety.
5. Boycott Hobby Lobby stores. Women make an estimated 75-85% of all household purchasing decisions. Let your voices be heard by not supporting this company.

*I'm not sure what to do if the stores attempt to opt out of stocking contraceptives for religious reasons. What a world we live in, eh? Isn't this 2014?


B. E. Busby said...

I would, I guess, be happy if the offset the cost of the offensive contraceptive techniques with reductions in, by way of non-limiting example, other deductibles.

I would be a lot happier if this whole ACA thing were replaced by the British medical model (and by that, I mean, specifically, NOT the Canadian model) of health care, where none of this would be of concern.

This horrid choice of health care "programs" will, as the Brits like to say, "end in tears." Sadly, yours are already evident and for no damned good reason.

B. E. Busby said...

I like this guy's very poignant take on things.

Christie said...

J.O. sums it up pretty well. I'm curious to see what that bunch (including Stewart and Colbert) do now that we have the decision.

A while ago I read this book


and remember how informative it was about the healthcare models used by other industrial nations. We lag in every way except the rare specific advancements in a particular cancer treatment (basically). And there are several models that woudl be more inclusive and better serve the population than the for-profit model of care we have here. Oy vey.

Further consideration of the percentage of corporations owned and controlled by men makes me fear that many will use this ruling as a means to get an exception for their company, putting approximately half the working population at risk.

I fear our inability to educate people on scientific issues is making it possible for the crazies to come out of the woodwork. And if we can't consider the factuality of those beliefs when in the midst of interpreting our laws, well, that doesn't bode well for women in a patriarchal society.

B. E. Busby said...

I have committed a pointer sin... that points to whatever his current topic might be; I'll repost a permalink when it's available.

I believe the one of the deciding factors for the court (see ) was the relative costs of providing the services (contraception) and the penalties for not doing so (they are not at all balanced). Given the clash of the RFRA and ACA, they appear to have been offended by the coercive nature of the ACA's provisions.

I'm pretty sure that if an employer tried to forbid their employees from a particular practice based on the employer's religious beliefs, this would have been bright-line rejected from the get-go. If it's a cost issue, then my earlier-proposed trade the "toxic" expense for another method would seem a no-lose for everybody.

Christie said...

SCOTUS, or certain members on the bench, seem to be taking the RFRA in a direction it was never intended, though, right? Like it was meant to "fix" a particular issue (i.e. Smith) but the court is interpreting it in a new way and basically wiping out all the precedent that has come before it.

Why didn't the court consider the validity of the belief - that certain types of contraceptives the company claims to object to are not abortificients. They are interpreting laws as if those contraceptives are when they are not. Doesn't that seem suspect? I mean, Mr. Green can certainly believe it but that doesn't mean the court should interpret laws based on that inaccurate information.

There are bus drivers refusing to drop women off at Planned Parenthood because they think they'll be contributing to someone getting an abortion, despite the fact that a very small percentage go to PP for those services. We have pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions. This seems another very ridiculous step in that direction of placating the religious at the expense of HALF THE POPULATION. (Sorry, I don't mean to yell.)

I'm just angry. I usually am when a bunch of out-of-touch men make decisions about my reproductive rights. And when a small, tiny, minority of men feel their rights can't be imposed upon to help women out, I get even angrier. We all pay for stuff we don't want to. And I doubt the religious sincerity of anyone who claims to want to prevent abortions and then 1. won't educate women (abstinence-only policies are the worst) and 2. provide them access to healthcare. Without those two things, women are far more likely to have an unintended pregnancy and far more likely to have an abortion.