If it wasn't for the real-world ramifications it could have on 99% of all women who have used some form of contraceptives at least once in their lives, I'd find the radical far-religious right obsession with blocking birth control bemusing.
I mean, after all, when you have something like Wheaton College in Illinois complain about the employer-provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring the health plan to provide contraceptives to women...and it turns out that they have the same provision already in their own health care program, how can you take the outrage seriously? Or when no one on the far right complained about the very same provision in the Massachusetts law when it passed seven years ago -- or is protesting it today -- how can one not look at the mournful cries of "religious freedom" and not just hear the sound of bleating hypocrisy?
We get it. They don't like Barack Obama. We get it, they don't want to see affordable health care succeed. We get it, they have some problem with women having a voice and, oh, pesky things like rights. But if such people want their personal concerns taken seriously, then they have to act seriously and take the realities and concerns of others just as seriously.
Forcing a women to be pregnant and have a baby against her wishes? Man, talk about real birth control.
But take a step back from all that.
If one looks at what is being proposed by the challenge the Supreme Court has taken up, that employers should be allowed to determine the private health care decisions of their employees, then imagine realistically where that leads.
What if an employer's religion says that abortion is against their beliefs. Why couldn't that business insist that it's a violation of their religious freedom not being allowed fire an employee who has one? What if an employer is a Christian Scientist who believes in prayer over medicine? Why then couldn't such a business owner decide that even offering healthcare at all was a violation of their religious rights?
Or look at it from the other perspective. Why couldn't any individual create their own personal religion and claim that not only health care is a violation of their religious rights? Or that anything they don't like is a violation of their personal religion? Who's to say what a religion is or should be, after all?
(Side note: good news to lovers of sanity, the Supreme Court decided in a case involving the state of Oregon that religious laws don't supersede the laws of government. And Antonin Scalia spoke strongly for the majority.)
If one has a religious belief, that's fine. Nothing in the Affordable Care Act prohibits a person from following their own religion. Allowing others to live according to their own beliefs doesn't impinge on yours. Allowing someone else to buy a contraceptive doesn't mean you have to use it, as well. In fact, it doesn't even mean that they have to use it. The ACA just allows them to purchase it. And that isn't against anyone's religion...at least, as far as I know. Of course they're buying it to use -- but it's not a requirement of the law.
While I know the situation is complex, it seems to me very simple:
If someone doesn't want to use contraceptives because their personal religious beliefs say it's wrong -- then don't use contraceptives. But for people who supposedly believe in Their Fellow Man, personal responsibility and small government, trying to create laws that force women to become pregnant and carry a baby to term, while cramming a trans-vaginal probe into them against their wishes just seems a wee bit hypocritical and...well, creepy.
I was going to say, "Don't you think so??" But instead I'll phrase it, "Shouldn't you think so?"
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor