Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that employers have the right to deny their employees birth control health care if it does not align with their views. The ruling is from the Little Sisters of The Poor v. Pennsylvania.
Shocking? It shouldn’t be. This recent court case is not the first case that has taken a shot at free contraception access.
What protects birth control, again?
Birth control and contraceptives are promised in the Affordable Care Act for all, implemented by Obama.
Then, in 2014, a case titled Burwell V. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, Supreme Court ruled that for-profit companies are also entitled to object from offering contraceptive coverage, provided that it was due to genuine, religious beliefs.
So “my body, my choice” is understood when it’s about a mask but not when it comes to women’s reproductive rights? Make it make sense. pic.twitter.com/E4zaiCxG1X
— santa’s favorite ho 🎄 (@imanmuejaza) July 2, 2020
Later on in the year, Court decided that an accommodation form wasn’t necessary either; anyone that wanted to be exempt simply has to notify the Department of Health and Human Services.
Of course, not all the cases were completely successful; the case of Zurwick V. Burwell, which essentially stated that it burdened entities exercising the freedom of their religion, was thrown out altogether.
Hell, the ruling rolled out with the Little Sisters of The Poor case, but that was not the only case presenting this question of legality and birth control. Trump V. Pennsylvania, was a case that raised the same question, this year.
We’ve been here before…
So, if you’ve been paying attention, this is not the first case to attempt to dismantle preventative health care. It’s just one of the latest cases yet. Granted, it’s hard to keep track of all these cases, especially as time passes with everything else going on.
Paying attention, or at least the attempt to, is important. These decisions should not be able to slide by the American public, especially as it affects the working class the most.
It isn’t going to be the wealthy, who can buy any sort of contraceptive or afford healthcare, but the minimum wage workers, the college students, and the single parents who fall through the cracks.
Lemme add: reproductive rights are human rights, black lives matter, eat the rich
— mckenna (@spitfiiire) July 7, 2020
This new ruling, though unsurprising given the lead-up, is horrifying in its’ implications for Americans. This isn’t just due to the bigger scope now of the religious exemption, but because of the newly added moral exemption.
It’s bigger than us.
Regardless of your beliefs, consider this: It will impact thousands of people who depend on their healthcare coverage available through their jobs.
And no, this isn’t just for people who want to have sex (although that is well within their rights).
Many people depend on birth control to treat other disorders and conditions, such as endometriosis, PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), and excruciating cramps during periods (also known as dysmenorrhea).
In fact, the pill also regulates periods and lessens pain during their menstrual cycle. Especially in younger people, issues relating to sexual health are more common and thus, treated with the pill. Without the pill, many people experience excruciating cramps, headaches, or even vomiting.
If that doesn’t sound like a good time, it’s because it’s not. Imagine trying to go to work with that kind of feeling. Now imagine if your work decided to not help you with your endometriosis because they don’t believe in contraceptives.
Even if you don’t believe in contraceptives, you can’t seed out which people are doing it for what, and instead, you may actively hurt or impede someone’s ability to get the help that they need.
Dysmenorrhea and endometriosis do not have a lot of other options. It’s estimated that 1 in every 10 women have endometriosis.
All this, while viagra is still covered in healthcare coverage.
The fight for free contraception access ain’t over yet
Remember what is happening and remember which justices are voting for what.
In this ruling, two of the less conservative Justices, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, join the majority ruling. The only two dissenting judges, in this case, were Ruth Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.
While we can’t vote out justices, we can vote for a whole lot of other things in November.
In her dissent of yesterday's Supreme Court decision, Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that as many as 126,000 women may have lost access to free contraception, with disproportionate impacts on Black and Latinx women.
Birth control is health care. We'll keep fighting for access.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 9, 2020