Plan B - 06/30/14
After today's landmark Supreme Court decision on emergency contraceptives, it looks like female employees of Hobby Lobby will need to come up with their on 'Plan B.' The High Court sided w/ the arts & crafts store saying it did not have to provide its workers emergency contraception under ObamaCare.
In a well publicized case, the family owned Hobby Lobby chain argued that doing so violated their religious rights. They sought protection under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act to keep from having to pay for 'day after' emergency solutions to end unwanted pregnancies.
Several surveys show most of us want our health insurance plans to cover birth control. I do too. Afterall, it takes two to tango and female workers shouldn't be saddled with 100% of the out of pocket cost and responsibility of birth control. However, keep in mind.... this ruling affects three companies. A Christian bookstore, Hobby Lobby and a Menonite woodworking company. Companies that are run by two or three family members. We're not talking big corporations here. The ruling does not apply to the typical American company, therefore most of us women are completely unaffected by this ruling. All 3 of those companies sued not over birth control, but over something known as abortifacients, ie medicines that abort an unwanted pregnancy in the days after sex. The ruling lets these companies refuse to pay for this type of contraception. This ruling doesn't suddenly give all employers the right to deny women birth control as some of the headlines might mislead you to believe.
Women's groups are already seizing on the ruling claiming sexism since five male justices voted in favor of Hobby Lobby in this case. I couldn't disagree more. The truth is this case isn't about contraception at all. It's about preserving religious rights. Regardless of your take on emergency contraception, having unprotected sex and regretting it, ending an unwanted pregnancy, casual sex or any other issues here--- most of us want to be able to worship & believe (or not) how we want to. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act does just that. Our government can't restore our freedom of religion on the one hand and chip away at it on the other. One attorney said it best when she said, "This ruling will protect people of all faiths....."
If Hobby Lobby had not prevailed in this controversial case, the company could have been subject to fines totaling more than a million dollars a day for not following the ObamaCare mandate to provide emergency/day after contraception. Hobby Lobby didn't have a problem with birth control pills. It had a problem with pills that work after conception. In their eyes, that's abortion and subsidizing that type of pregnancy-ending pill went against Hobby Lobby's religious morals.
The Obama Administration says this ruling will hurt women and could endanger their health. Don't drink the kool-aid. The truth is insurance companies could still be required to cover the contraceptives without Hobby Lobby having to share in the cost. This is already an accommodation made to non profits by the administration..... the group insurer or a third party administrator picks up the tab. This case really was a slam dunk. How could you allow this leeway for non profits, but deny an exemption for a private company which had a religious conflict? Our government can't and shouldn't play favorites. That's risky business.
In a nutshell, the judges' decision lets Americans retain religious rights even while running a family owned big business like Hobby Lobby. That's what makes this a great country.... our long list of freedoms. So, you don't agree? Simple. Don't shop at Hobby Lobby & don't apply for a job there. That's your right too.