A craft store, an automotive parts manufacturer, a contractor, a woodworker, and a light manufacturer walk into
Obamacare's birth control mandate will go before four different appeals courts over the next three weeks as private businesses that object to the policy on religious liberty grounds bring a barrage of lawsuits that opponents hope to get before the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as this fall.Never mind the religious beliefs of their employees, which might be different from their employers'. Too bad for you if you don't happen to work for an employer who shares precisely the same religious convictions as you do!
On Wednesday, two for-profit companies will ask the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike the requirement that they provide employees with insurance coverage that includes birth control and other drugs that they say can cause abortion. Three other companies will present oral arguments in different appeals courts by early June.
The companies — a craft store, an automotive parts manufacturer, a contractor, a woodworker and a light manufacturer — say in their separate lawsuits that their religious freedoms are being violated by the Obama administration's requirement, which stems from the health law, that they cover contraception in their employee insurance plans.
The business owners say that they have strongly held religious beliefs against the use of contraceptives and that the fines they would incur for not providing them could amount to millions of dollars. They argue that they should be exempt on moral grounds like certain church-affiliated groups even if they are for-profit businesses rather than nonprofit religious groups.
"What the mandate is requiring our clients to do is to arrange for, pay for and provide coverage that runs contrary to their religious beliefs," said Edward White, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice.
Women are not the only people in need of hormonal contraception, but the vast majority of people in need of hormonal contraception are women. These employers are effectively asking for the legal right to discriminate against female employees because it is their opinion that contraception is not a central part of many women's basic healthcare, whether we are using it to control our reproduction or to treat one of many disorders for which hormonal contraceptives are a commonly prescribed drug.
And, as per usual, they're trying to justify their urge to police women's bodies and reproduction with an invented religious imperative and bullshit science. Birth control doesn't cause abortions. In fact, nothing causes more abortions than pregnancy: As many as 50% of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions, many before a person with a uterus even realizes zie is pregnant. Which doesn't include unwanted pregnancies that are terminated. Anyone who's genuinely worried about abortions, spontaneous or chosen, should be thrilled to be paying for birth control!
But of course that's not the point. The point is petulant grievance about having to pay for women's healthcare, and dressing up the usual spite in a religious cloak. Maybe a vestment.