The Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby (a company whose 401(k) plan includes investments in the companies that produce the very drugs it sued in order to not cover) is free to discriminate against women and not cover some forms of birth control.
There are things that are still protected like the birth control pill, which — aside from being used for sex — is also used to treat endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, eases cramps, smooths skin, helps with anemia, helps protect women from pelvic inflammatory disease, and reduces the risks of some cancers.
Then there are the things the Supreme Court allowed private companies to choose not to cover, things like IUDs and the morning-after pill, which Hobby Lobby claims cause abortions (even though they really actually don’t do that). It’s so arbitrary though, I’m not sure how it will stick.
John Oliver has an opinion about that. Especially at 3:40.
If any of you think this is a step in the right direction, ask yourself if companies should be able to choose whether your blood transfusions should be covered or whether you should have to eat the cost of a horrific, debilitating accident (some religions don’t believe in medical intervention). What about if your company’s religion doesn’t approve HIV medications because they have a misguided idea that only gay people get it (as if sexual orientation is in any way relevant to people having the right to receive medicine) and you as a straight person had one night of an indiscretion from a partner who didn’t disclose? What if your business’ religious beliefs include only eating vegetarian and you suffer a heart attack from eating too many burgers and they won’t cover it?
The court has opened a precedent so wide that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated in her dissent: “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Court’s determination that RFRA extends to for-profit corporations is bound to have untoward effects. Although the Court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private.”
This has far-reaching and awful repercussions that go far beyond the faith of an owner of one company. This is going to backfire in their faces horribly. Especially, if you help get out the word about how awful it truly is. You can also Like John Oliver on Facebook if you want to see more like this.
By “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” righteous purveyor of indignation and justified rage. By the way, the shrimp on a treadmill is actually about species survival and disease, not just attempting to get shrimp to work out more.
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