The Hobby Lobby religious exemption to covering contraception case will be heard in the US Supreme Court starting on Tuesday. If corporations are given a right to religious freedom there is no telling how bad this will be for people. One bad result, that hasn’t been reported on by the media, is that both plaintiffs want to prevent Doctors from even talking about contraceptives to their employees. These corporations want to get between you and your doctor.
The two plaintiffs in these cases object not just to covering specific types of birth control, but also to providing counseling about that birth control. In Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit, for instance, the company states that it does not want to follow the Obamacare provision that forces employers to “provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.”
The media coverage surrounding the upcoming challenges has mainly focused on the first part of that argument, as reproductive rights advocates point out that women need access to affordable contraceptive methods regardless of their boss’ personal beliefs about birth control. However, the second part threatens to have incredibly far-reaching ramifications for women and doctors in this country, too. Essentially, if Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood are successful, they’ll win the right to refuse to extend coverage for doctor’s visits that include discussion about certain forms of contraception, like IUDs or the morning after pill.
And birth control isn’t the only type of medical care that some Americans object to on religious grounds. There are some groups who are opposed to modern health services like vaccinations, blood transfusions, or mental health care. If these upcoming legal challenges are successful, that could open the door for employers to restrict their workers’ coverage for doctors’ visits that include discussion of those topics, too. It’s a slippery slope.
The slope is so slippery we might all fall into the black hole called religious freedom if Hobby Lobby prevails.
For more info on this case check out my previous post: Hobby Lobby Claims Religious Freedom By Denying Religious Freedom Of Employees
Center for Inquiry also has some Hobby Lobby Case Resources on their website.