One of the most galling reactions to the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling is that women are asking someone else to give them free access to “consequence free sex,” an underhanded way of slut-shaming the way Rush Limbaugh tried to shame Sandra Fluke, and to accuse women of being moochers in the way too many in the GOP view those near the bottom of the economic totem pole.
Here’s a reality check on that: Those women at Hobby Lobby work and they receive compensation. A part of that earned compensation is health care coverage. It is not a handout. And whatever they derive from that service is not free – they pay for it by going to work every day.
I don’t hear people slut-shaming the men on Wall Street who receive a compensation package that pays for a Viagra prescription – and have it subsidized by the federal government, even. No one says those men just want someone else to pay for their consequence-free sex.
Besides that, contraception is not just about “consequence-free sex” (whatever that is); it is also about real health issues, protecting women from hazardous and life-threatening conditions, as Justice Ginsburg wrote in her dissent. (Viagra also addresses a real health issue.)
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Contraception is also the primary reason the abortion rate is at an all-time-low, which makes it odd that those claiming to hate abortion are trying to make it less available.
There are other issues at play as well. The Supreme Court was not upholding religious rights in general, but rather conservative Christian rights in particular. It doesn’t seem concerned that Jehovah’s Witnesses (blood transfusions) can make a legit claim for a religious exemption based on the Court’s reasoning.
This is the first time that the Court has granted religious rights to a for-profit corporation, trampling on the rights of less-powerful employees who don’t share the corporation’s religious beliefs.
This is not about religious freedom, because if it was, the Court could not have ruled the way it did.
Something similar is happening in the Bible Belt in North Carolina, where legislators passed a law making it illegal for anyone to perform same-sex ceremonies. That means liberal churches can’t marry gay couples – this mandated by a majority of Republicans who would scream if conservative churches were forced to do anything – or banned from preaching against homosexuality – by the state or federal government. The religious hypocrisy stinks to high Heaven, even if most claiming religious freedom ignore that truth.