From the way most critics are talking about it, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby was a chauvinist attack on female reproductive rights by five old white Catholic men. I don’t think the Hobby Lobby ruling had much at all to do with women’s rights, however.
The main questions of the Hobby Lobby case were this:
- May a corporation exercise the same religious freedoms as an individual?
- If so, is a taxable (for-profit) corporation allowed to exempt itself from a unilateral mandate of the Affordable Care Act? In other words, how enforceable are the mandates of the Affordable Care Act?
We’ve never seen a case like this. Because the civil government has never before forced a company to pay for health insurance. And not just any health insurance, but full coverage health insurance as defined by the civil government. And the “Affordable” Care Act stipulates that “birth control” be entirely covered.
The main impasse in this conversation about birth control is that most conservatives believe an unborn baby to be a distinct person. Most leftists believe an unborn baby is just an extension of its mother’s body.
So, to a conservative, issues of birth control involve protecting the life of an innocent person, distinct from the mother, itself entitled to unique rights. To a leftist, birth control is just a sub-category of female reproductive health.
So you can see that the Hobby Lobby issue is quite clouded by this impasse. Whereas conservatives see it as a victory for those who do not want to fund the killing of innocents, leftists see the Hobby Lobby ruling as an intrusion into the private business of women—another prong in the imagined “conservative war on women.”
But in the end, the Hobby Lobby ruling had little to do with women’s rights or birth control. It had to do with how far the Supreme Court would allow the Affordable Care Act to dictate the previously voluntary decisions of a corporate employer concerning its employees. The civil government already sets a minimum wage. Why not just increase the minimum wage and encourage people to use the extra money to get insurance? Because that wouldn’t work.
Most uninsured people could probably afford healthcare if they actually planned and saved to pay for it. But they don’t. Because most people in the United States are short-term living, heavily indebted, hand-to-mouth spendthrifts. They use their tax refund as their only way to save larger lump sums for big purchases. They use Social Security because they won’t save for retirement. And now they’ll use ObamaCare because they refuse to be responsible for their own health.
So you’re right, leftists and feminists, your reproductive health isn’t and should never be Hobby Lobby’s business. It’s yours. So it stands to reason that, being your business, you should take care of it.