Friday 28th November 2014,
The Transcript

Supreme Court takes up arms in war on women

Emily Feldmesser July 2, 2014 Opinion No Comments
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

In an unsurprising decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, allowing the craft store chain to deny contraception to its employees based on its religious beliefs. Though I always knew the Supreme Court would rule in favor of Hobby Lobby, a part of me hoped it wouldn’t.

Hobby Lobby said that they feel they don’t need to provide their employees with Plan B (the “morning after pill”) and intrauterine devices (IUDs), because they think they cause abortions. Hobby Lobby is owned by the Christian Green family, and they think providing women with contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act violates their religious freedom. And apparently the Supreme Court agreed. With this ruling, it shows that SCOTUS thinks not only that corporations are people, but that they can exercise religious rights.

There are several problems with this ruling. One is that it creates a slippery slope — if employers can deny certain medications based on their religious affiliations, where will the line be drawn?  Christian Scientists don’t believe in blood transfusions and Scientologists don’t believe in anti-depressants, so does that mean under this ruling, they can deny coverage for these life saving treatments?

But the biggest problem with this ruling is that it is yet another attack on women. The Supreme Court decided this verdict 5-4, and those in the majority male. The four dissenters included the three women on the bench. These men in the majority value corporations over women because, as we all know, corporations are people. It’s nice to know that corporations have more rights than I do.

People say there’s no war on women. I ask them to explain why a large section of the public is so against contraception or so adamant against abortion, or don’t even want women to make their own healthcare decisions. Or when Hillary Clinton is asked whether she can be president when she’s a grandmother or if General Motors CEO Mary Barra is asked whether she can perform her job well because she’s a mother

. Remind me the last time a man was asked about how being a father impacts his job performance?

This decision is a result of culmination of feelings towards women. The idea that women aren’t capable of making their own healthcare decision, that women are only seen as vessels for fetuses and that women are less valuable than corporations. The Supreme Court has set a scary precedent for healthcare and women, and the future is uncertain as to what will happen to women next.

I just wish I was a white, Christian male so I would be able to make my own healthcare decisions.

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About The Author

Emily Feldmesser is a junior double majoring in International Relations and Journalism. For the fall semester, she is interning at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. In her spare time, she likes to watch The Simpsons and chase dogs.

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