Supreme Court Sacrifices Reproductive Choice for Religious Rights

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25 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    I’m struck that Scalia’s replacement would trash his doctrine so easily. But then again, a number of conservative jurists really don’t seem to care about precedence.

    These sort of outcomes always remind me that left leaning religious folks (and we do exist) do an abysmal job both of litigating issues like this to our advantage, and of framing the UnChristian nature of these outcomes. True Christians are nowhere to be found in these decisions, but we have yet to come up with a good counter narrative, much less litigation strategy.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

      So, the only true Christians are the ones who agree with you politically?Report

    • Alison in reply to Philip H says:

      Agreed. There is nothing inherently partisan about the religious freedom argument. After all RFRA was in many ways initially a liberal cause. And yet progressive religious folks have yet to mount a successful attack on the ways in which conservative religious folks have commandeered religion to advance a very specific notion of religious liberty. It would be great to see liberal religious employers use RFRA to opt out of policies they find objectionable.Report

  2. CJColucci says:

    Is this a plot to make Medicare for All more popular?Report

  3. Meh. The Dems have gotten 97% of what they wanted on the contraception mandate but decry the 3% as a literal Handmaid’s Tale. If they really wanted to improve access, they would follow the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that all birth control be made available OTC, which would make it both cheaper and easier to get. But that would run afoul of Planned Parenthood and their $45 million, so …Report

    • Philip H in reply to Michael Siegel says:

      Planned Parenthood has been advocating to make birth control pills OTC for decades. Considering the legal wrangling that still goes on over making the morning after pill OTC I’m not sure why you think they’d object . . . .Report

  4. North says:

    This is a little overwrought, in my opinion. Yes it’s a rollback but it’s also a clarifying moment. It may have been an error to try and link provision of birth control to employment. Fortunately, unlike healthcare in general, birth control is not enormously expensive. It seems to me the logical response to this ruling would be for the Dems to simply work to create a program for assuring affordable access to birth control for all women regardless of employment status. Nothing for the religious to opt out of your inveigle against there.Report

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    Good news! Contraceptives are still legal, and available for purchase at a reasonable price. Reproductive choice remains safe! If you feel that the best way to promote your ideology is to grossly misrepresent the issues, maybe you should stop and think about what that says about your ideology.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Condoms for men are still cheap and widely available. Vasectomies for men are still cheap because they are covered by insurance (and none of the litigants objecting to providing birth control to women seem to object to providing it to men this way). Some insurance covers tubal ligation for women under some circumstances.

      But Birth control pills – which is the heart of this litigation – are not cheap, are not widely available (you need a prescription), and will now likely be dropped by many plans due to this decision.Report

  6. InMD says:

    The problem here seems less of a religious freedom v. reproductive rights and more another bullet to the list of shortcomings in our healthcare system. If employers weren’t the primary providers of benefits the issue goes away completely.Report

    • Pinky in reply to InMD says:

      I think this is everyone’s second-favorite reform idea. It actually might be my first. But it would take a lot of political will to achieve.Report

      • InMD in reply to Pinky says:

        I see it as the distortion from which most other distortions arise. But to your point fixing it is hard, and nothing is harder in a democracy than selling some short term pain, no matter the necessity for long term gain. That’s especially the case with something like healthcare benefits where all change is understandably scary.Report

        • Pinky in reply to InMD says:

          I have an odd thought about his. I don’t know how to describe it, but here goes.

          Observation 1: If one party favors a policy, and the other one opposes it, that policy would get implemented if the pro- party gained enough of the right offices. Shoving the policy down the opponents’ throats could become a rallying cry.

          Observation 2: In a healthy political environment, the policies that both sides support are considered low-hanging fruit. They make their way through as individual laws, or part of some big compromise legislation.

          Sick Thought: Getting rid of employer-based health insurance would be easier if one side opposed getting rid of it. It’s too momentous to be tucked away in some other bill, but it’s also too reasonable to build a groundswell and trample over opponents.

          If you take something like abortion or gun laws, there are reasonable laws that 95% of the population would accept, but they’ll never get through because an active voting bloc would consider it a major loss. On this issue, there’s no such hardcore base, but legislators act the same as if there were.Report

          • InMD in reply to Pinky says:

            I think the fundamental problem is that people by and large say they like their insurance, which for most is what they get at their jobs. We saw it with the ACA both with Obama’s promise people could keep what they had, and the GOP pounce when that turned out not to be 100% true.

            My suspicion is what’s really at play is the tendency of humans to value what they already have more than an uncertain gain. Our system’s complexity only reinforces it. People know they have something with the employer model but in my experience don’t actually understand much about what that something is or the shortcomings of it. IMO the politics are a reflection of that reality rather than a cause.Report

            • Pinky in reply to InMD says:

              Really? I assume that everyone hates their insurance, but they’re comfortable with the illusion that someone else is paying the ion’s share.Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky says:

                People hate it once they have some bad experience with a claim or something expensive not being covered. But until that happens ‘comfortable with the illusion someone else is paying for it’ prevails over the hypotheticals. And of course those stories of people falling through the cracks between structures is something that only happens to other people…Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                We like our insurance. Always have. As federal employees ours is a bit different then private sector – we get national plans to choose form since we could move around. We also pay a fair portion of the coverage. I have no illusions however about who pays what, and I am still in favor of single payer.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Would you support getting rid of employer-based health insurance?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                yes. Always have. Single Payer accomplishes that.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Would you support it without single payer?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

                it would depend on the proposal – I have yet to see an idea to ditch employer based health insurance that wasn’t either single payer or true universal coverage (and remember those two are not the same concept nor are they necessarily linked).Report

  7. DensityDuck says:

    I’d really appreciate it if someone could link to the last time we talked about Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. There were quite a few posts about it, as I recall.Report