I am deeply disturbed by the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision. But I am even more disturbed by the support that I have seen for this oppressive, antiquated decision. I was recently told by a professor that "if you want your birth control to be covered by a company that has religious beliefs then you should find someplace else to work." I can see how this seems like a viable option for a privileged white girl. However, I am writing this piece to give a voice to all the women who do not have the luxury of choosing their place of work to ensure that they will be provided adequate medical coverage based on the company's religious beliefs.
Hillary Clinton said at the Aspen Ideas Festival that "the United States matters to the world and the world matters to the United States." By allowing corporations to decide whether they will provide comprehensive birth control to women based on their religious beliefs, the members of the United States Supreme Court is sending a larger message to women and girls not only the United States but around the globe. This message is: girls, you are not enough and you are not in control.
In making this decision, members of the Supreme Court have strategically allowed a woman's boss to make vital medical decisions for her. In not covering birth control for women, we are inherently cutting her off to what could be life saving medical care. This specific case examined that birth control options of Plan-B, two different IUDs, and Ella, the week after pill. It does not surprise me that the antiquated (and proven to be false) belief that when women are prescribed birth control it turns them into sex hungry animals still prevails. In reality, various forms of birth control, such as an IUD, are prescribed for a variety of reasons and actually preventing pregnancy is just one of them. It can protect against certain life threatening cancers and hemorrhaging, provide endometriosis relief, and provide something as simple as lighter, less painful periods.
In telling women that their bosses at work are the ones who will decide whether or not they will be able to afford birth control, the members of the Supreme Court are sending the message that being a woman is essentially an "affliction" or a "preexisting condition" to which you will not be allowed adequate medical coverage in the United States. As a young American woman, I am blatantly being told that I am lesser than. In 2014, I am being told that I do not have the ability to make medical decisions for myself.
The members of the Supreme Court are using women's bodies to fight their own war. They are using women's bodies to ensure that patriarchy prevails. I ask you this, if corporations can now withhold medical coverage due to religious beliefs, where will this absurdity end? Does this mean the end of blood transfusions for anyone who works for a scientologist company? Don't get me wrong, I am all for religious freedom. I am a Catholic who just graduated from a Jesuit university. But what I do not believe in is religious beliefs hindering people from getting adequate medical care that in many cases could be life saving.
Please take a moment to consider the significant ramifications of this decision and understand the larger message that it sends to women and girls around the globe.