Not sure what all the fuss and commotion is over birth control and the SCOTUS this past week? Wondering why everyone’s talking about hobbies and lobbying and the Notorious RBG? Below we’ve rounded up a few links of necessary reading and analysis to help fill in the gaps.
In brief: On Monday, June 30, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. Essentially this means that companies and corporations ”can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires closely held companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control,” meaning Hobby Lobby and any other corporation with similar religious views can deny their employees birth control coverage. This affects thousands, and potentially millions of female Americans.
Via Jezebel - Why Women Aren’t People (But Corporations Are) by Erin Gloria Ryan:
If corporations are people then why can’t I punch one in the fucking face?
Today, five men on the Supreme Court said that women’s reproductive health care is less important than a woman’s boss’s superstition-based prudery and moral trepidation about fornication for female pleasure. They ruled that it doesn’t matter if birth control actually causes abortions; it only matters if business owners sincerely believe that birth control causes abortions. They ruled that it’s okay for a corporate person to discriminate against a female semi-person and dictate that she not spend her compensation on stuff that might possibly be enabling sex without consequences, if they believe that God thinks they should. Female semi-persons who work for these company-persons can simply obtain their birth control directly through the government, say the five men of the Supreme Court, the same way female employees of religious-based nonprofits are supposed to (religious-based nonprofits, by the way, have mounted challenges to signing a piece of paper indicating that they object to birth control, because that objection would indirectly sanction their whoreployees’ birth control by admitting that they weren’t getting it through work. So we’ve got that legal clusterfuck to look forward to, now).
This opened a whole huge can of worms. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her scathing dissent letter, ”The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” Read the best 8 lines from her letter over at Mother Jones.
Via Feministing - SCOTUS rules that your boss can deny you birth control coverage by Maya:
“…the argument made by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood was that since the company owners–as individuals–object to some forms of birth control on religious grounds, they–as a company–have a religious conscious that would be violated by following the law like the rest of us. Nevermind that the companies’ objection to emergency contraception and IUDs is based on the patently false claim that they are a form of abortion. And nevermind that this supposedly “deeply held” objection didn’t seem to be all that deeply held at all. Oh, and nevermind that, until today, we’ve never granted religious beliefs to companies nor have we typically accepted a conception of religious freedom that encompasses a right to impose your views on others.”
It gets worse. Via The Daily Beast - After Hobby Lobby, These 82 Corporations Could Drop Birth Control Coverage by Abby Haglage:
Gretchen Borchelt, senior counsel and director of state reproductive health policy for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), has been following similar cases for the past three years. She calls the Hobby Lobby decision disturbing—not for the least of reasons, how many other corporations it will affect.
“Other closely held companies now have a license to harm their employees in the name of the company’s religion,” she said. “If companies qualify, they can use this decision to make the same claim.”
Since all of this hit the fan, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has become somewhat of an internet sensation. She’s got a t-shirt AND super cute nail art.
But she isn’t the only female Supreme Court Justice PO’d over the ruling. All three female justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, voted against the decision and all signed their names to another fierce dissent letter.
Via MSNBC - Female justices issue searing dissent over new contraceptive case by Irin Carmon:
“The fierce disagreements dividing the Supreme Court over this week’s Hobby Lobby decision were laid bare Thursday in a searing dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the justices’ decision in a separate contraceptive case “undermines confidence in this institution.” The dissent was signed by all three female justices.
“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” wrote Sotomayor. “Not so today.”
Also by Irin Carmon: Hobby Lobby Case Myths Debunked.
It doesn’t look so good, but it’s not over.