First, let's get something straight. Someone else using birth control doesn't conflict with your religious beliefs. Orthodox Jews don't drive cars on Saturday. But that doesn't mean it's against their religion for you to drive on Saturday. Heck, you can have one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding a ham sandwich and in no way are their religious beliefs compromised... even if they paid for the sandwich.
In a 5-4, dudes vs. chicks decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot require Hobby Lobby to provide insurance coverage for birth control to women who dress too provocatively, because it conflicts with Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs. I've been to church. I've never seen Hobby Lobby there.
In a different case, the big, strong men of the Supreme Court also rejected the idea of "buffer zones" for abortion clinic protesters, protecting one's 1st Amendment right to violently scream at women walking into health care clinics. And, finally, in a separate case, Justice Antonin Scalia said he doesn't like it when football players wear their hair long because it looks "girly."
But back to the Hobby Lobby ruling...
Critics of the decision are missing the bigger picture. The issue should not be whether a big building can deny his employees health insurance if it conflicts with his religious beliefs. I'm fine with that. But the real issue is about "conflicting with one's religious beliefs." How does paying for someone else's IUD conflict with your religious beliefs? For some people, religious beliefs require that they baptize their children. For other people, their religion teaches them to jump up and down on Oprah's couch. But paying for someone's morning-after pill? What does that have to do with your religion? I've read dozens of religious texts, from the Old Testament to the New Testament to Kris Jenner's autobiography. Where's the part about denying health care coverage to your employees? Is that in the same passage as the Easter Bunny?
For some unbiased information about the case, I went on-line and Googled "Hobby Lobby ruling." Let me just scroll down this first page of results and see what the news websites have to say. The NBC News website's headline is "Hobby Lobby Ruling: Employers Don't Have to Cover Birth Control." ABCnews.com has "Hobby Lobby Wins Contraceptive Ruling in Supreme Court." Oh, and here's the Fox News site: "Hobby Lobby Ruling: Why the Supreme Court Got It Right." Ah, Fox news; you're my new cocaine -- addictive, destructive, and so very, very white.
Have you ever seen that crappy CBS reality show, Undercover Boss? Each week, a wealthy CEO puts on a disguise and mingles with his employees. I'm looking forward to the Hobby Lobby episode, in which the boss investigates his employees' private sex lives and looks into their reproductive health. In other words, it will be similar to the episode at Trump Towers.
In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito specified that the Court's ruling only applied to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Health Care Act. Hence, if a company is religiously opposed to, say, mammograms, it still has to pay for it... as long as Alito gets to watch.
Don't we all know what this case is really about? It's not about Obamacare or religion or even lady condoms; it's about abortion.
The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case was over 40 years ago and yet the Miami Heat still can't sign Dwyane Wade to a long-term contract. And also, our country still allows men to rule over women's bodies.
A few weeks ago, I was watching Last Comic Standing on NBC, a reality competition show pitting stand-up comedians against each other. A female comedian told an abortion joke. Another female comedian told a rape joke. NBC censors bleeped out the word abortion, but not the word rape. Apparently, abortion is worse than rape. Or, another way of putting it, what a woman does to her own body is more offensive than what a man does to a woman's body. I suspect the NBC censor was a man. I wish NBC would censor The Voice -- not because it's against my religion, but because it's awful.
I've known many people who are opposed to abortion for reasons honorable and compassionate. That life is sacred is a beautiful and legitimate position to hold. And sadly, abortion is more common when the ultrasound exhibits a developmental or physical disability. And it's depressing to think that expectant parents would terminate a fetus in hopes that a "better" one will come along. My sister is developmentally disabled, and she's the most important person in the world to me... I mean, not counting porn stars. But seriously, earth is a better place with my sister in it. And her challenges do nothing to discount her worth as a human being.
But whatever your philosophy on when human life begins, it's irrelevant. The "abortion as legal" position supersedes it. Women are not transports; they're not carriers and they're not baby taxi cabs. Women are of their own physical bodies. And no government -- no government! -- should have any authority over one's body. It's your body. A government can confine your body to your home, it can imprison your body in a jail cell, it can even inject poison into your arm (though I'm not a big fan of that one), but in a civilized, decent society, the government has no rights to your physical being. That is called slavery.
The government can fry you in the electric chair, but it can't make you donate your kidney unwillingly. It's a weird, but very clear, distinction.
I'm opposed to face tattoos, but your face is your body. And there can be no laws against it... as argued in the landmark court decision, "Mike Tyson vs. We're All Still Scared Of Mike Tyson."
All the other arguments, both for and against abortion, are irrelevant. It doesn't matter when life begins. A 32-year-old grad student working on his economics dissertation might be living inside your calf muscle. But if it's your body, then it's your decision. That anyone else might have a legal say in what you can do- including the grad student who has been "working" on his PhD for like nine years and let's get real is obviously never going to finish -- constitutes the moral definition of slavery.
There are people in America without homes, without cars, without television sets, and we grudgingly accept this reality. But we must be allowed to maintain the natural, inherent ownership of our own body parts. Otherwise, we live in a state of... WTF You don't own a TV?! Then what the hell do you do when The Good Wife is on?! And can you believe they killed off Will? What a shocker.
To ban abortion rights for other people -- hey, you can do whatever you want with your own body -- is to take ownership over their bodies. That is slavery. And, in fact, that was slavery in the United States in 1850. Slave owners had legal possession of their slave women's bodies and everything inside those bodies.
You think abortion is wrong? You don't think women should have abortions? You think abortion is another Holocaust or it's worse than 9-11 or it's whatever other offensive and illogical comparison you want to make? Okay. Fine. Then make your case to women. Tell them how you feel. You might want to do better than the pro-life bumper stickers, though. That's not really changing anyone's opinion, especially if you cut me off in traffic. But, no, you don't have the right to stop a woman from having a medical procedure.
And here's some more advice to those who would urge women against abortion. Stop letting dickheads speak on your behalf. Tell Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter to shut the hell up; these windbags serve only to strengthen the resolve of the pro-choice movement. I mean, does anyone really think Rush Limbaugh cares about the "sanctity of life." You've heard Rush Limbaugh speak on a number of topics, I presume. At any point, regarding any issue, does this sound like a man who cries for the souls of children? This sounds more like a man who throws pears at the neighborhood kids who step on his lawn.
Men have social power. Women have wombs. And any law -- any law! -- that inhibits abortion in even the slightest way -- is about men controlling women's bodies. Men can't have children. If they could, abortion wouldn't just be legal, it would be an app on your smartphone.
Do you not get that 'abortion' is a women's issue? Only women can get pregnant. And every single law in the history of the planet -- I'm talkin' EVERY. SINGLE. LAW. -- inhibiting abortion in even the slightest way was made by men, usually overweight men who couldn't get laid in high school.
It's weird when you think about it. Women can get pregnant. Men cannot. And... men are making legal decisions about pregnancy? This is insane. Watermelon-flavored Oreos is insane. Ryan Seacrest has 13 million Twitter followers is insane. But absolutely nothing compares to the socially accepted fact that men are making laws about women's bodies. That's crazy town.
Men shouldn't even be part of the discussion. I shouldn't be part of the discussion. And the six men on the Supreme Court should've recused themselves from the Hobby Lobby case, citing "We don't know what the f**k we're talking about." And why do hobbies get their own lobby, anyway? Heck, the hobby industry is already way too powerful.
I'm going to tell all my male readers (all 14 of you) a secret. You personally know women who have had an abortion. I don't mean your female co-workers with whom you've had a couple pleasant conversations. I'm referring to your close female friends, the women in your family, your girlfriend. You've had intimate conversations with these women. When a woman feels comfortable with a man, she'll tell him about her past. She'll confide in him. She'll tell him that she's had an abortion. So... has any woman ever told you that she's had an abortion? No? I'll tell you why; it's because she thinks you're a judgmental asshole.
I'm going to tell all my male readers another secret. When you go out on a Saturday night, don't wear sneakers. It makes you look like a slacker.
Just once I'd like to hear a pro-choice politician speak honestly. Instead, they'll say stuff like "We would all like to see fewer abortions" or "I support abortion as a last resort." Why are they apologizing for abortion? Abortion is a legal, medical procedure. I don't care if there are fewer abortions. I don't care if there are more abortions. And I'm fine with abortion being a woman's first resort. Actually, I don't want to see any abortions. Nor do I want to watch any colonoscopies. Nor do I want to see the podiatrist clip that rock-hard nail on your big toe. Damn that thing's gross. These are medical visits, private procedures between a patient and doctor. This has nothing to do with you. Mind your own business. Go find a hobby. (I heard they have a nice selection of arts & crafts at A.C. Moore.)
To equate abortion with "murder" -- even a little bit -- is to lack a basic understanding of human emotions. What makes murder so horrific is not that a life is cut short. Rather, it's the humanity to which that life breathes: the victim's fear and pain, the family's devastating loss, our own infuriating inability to make sense out of the senseless. When a child is murdered, it's not a picture of the dead body that brings us to tears; it's a photograph of the boy or girl smiling during happier times. What moves us, what devours us, is the bright light in the child's eyes- not that they've "started to develop fingernails." The ultrasound on a pro-life protest placard is not a child yearning to exist, and it only furthers to weaken your case.
There is a reasonable compromise to the abortion debate. It's that both sides agree to treat all people with dignity and respect after they're born. This is the sanctity of life. Everyone is entitled to a healthy diet, a proper education, effective health care. Life is easy inside the womb. Once you're out is the tough part.
I was once asked, "What if your mother aborted you?" My answer was that I think I'd be okay with it. I was a pretty easygoing fetus. I hate to think I'd miss the new Star Wars movies, though.