My body and your religious beliefs

June 30, 2014

A few years ago the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that corporations are people. Yeah, no kidding. Today, it ruled that those “people” can deny birth control coverage to their employees. Yeah, again, no kidding.

If you’re not familiar with these, you can read about corporations being ruled “people” here, and you can read about today’s horrible decision on birth control coverage here. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Welcome back. In case you didn’t read all of it, the basic idea is that health insurance in the U.S. is usually provided by companies for their employees. Yeah, that’s messed up, but it’s a discussion for another day. The federal government mandated that this health insurance coverage has to include preventative care, including things like cancer screenings and birth control. Birth control is incredibly controversial here in the U.S. (Maybe I’ll talk about my opinions of misogynistic policy-makers, pundits, and loudmouths another day.) A couple of family-owned companies sued, saying that birth control pills, IUDs, etc. could be assisting abortion (even though medical science says otherwise) and that therefore they are against the owners’ religious beliefs. They therefore believe they should not have to provide coverage that includes birth control pills, IUDs, etc. They argue that since it’s about their freedom of religion, they shouldn’t have to pay the penalties, either. And the court bought it. Or, at least, 5 male justices bought it.

The decision was written so that it was clearly meant to be narrow; it should apply only to these particular businesses and only to birth control. But we all know that the door is now open to any other business that wants to sue. And if the court rules that birth control is an “acceptable” religious objection but that pork-based pills or transfusions or whatever else isn’t an “acceptable” religious objection, then they’ll be showing preference for one religion over another. They can’t have that. So where would the line be drawn for healthcare coverage denials?

I have been railing against this ruling on Facebook all day. I am pissed off like you wouldn’t believe. In order to keep my cortisol levels from skyrocketing, I won’t get into this here today. I just want you all to be aware of this ruling. And to say that I believe this, above all else, to be true about the state of healthcare today for those who are not wealthy enough to afford care without insurance coverage:

Who should make decisions about my healthcare:

  • Me
  • My doctors/healthcare providers

Who actually makes decisions about my healthcare:

  • Me
  • My doctors/healthcare providers
  • My health insurance company
  • My disability insurance company (by denying a claim, they take away my health insurance)
  • My government
  • My employer
  • Pharmacies (for example, Walgreens now insists on calling doctors to personally verify prescriptions for opioids)

See the problem?

What do you think about this ruling? How does it make you feel? And who else makes decisions about our healthcare? Who did I forget? Please share in the comments!


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