By Katherine Chipps
Like many women (and men), I was angered by the US Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby yesterday. I guess this is what we get when the majority decision comes from all men. Quite frankly, there are a lot of men that when they hear anything about women’s reproductive health completely stops listening. I mean, how many men do you know want to hear how painful your period is because you have a tilted uterus? As soon as you say the word “period” the conversation is over. We even have an elected U.S. Senator that thinks birth control is used by women for recreational behavior.
The decision is frightening because it basically boils down to a corporation having religious freedoms that trump the rights and freedom of employees. What the suit was all about was that Hobby Lobby had a personal objection to four of the 20 forms of contraceptives on the list to be covered by the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, their objections to these four aren’t even based on facts. They objected to the Morning After Pill because they believe it prevents a fertilized egg from implanting the in uterus. When in actuality, the Morning After Pill prevents an egg from being released from the ovary, just like regular birth control pills.
Also, do they realize that The Pill is also prescribed for many health issues and ailments? According to the Guttmacher Institute “Fourteen percent of oral contraceptive users—1.5 million women—rely on this method exclusively for noncontraceptive purposes.” The pill is prescribed for everything from acne, endometriosis, tilted uterus, ovarian cysts, to preventative measures against ovarian cancer. So, this ruling also will allow employers of women with these health issues to deny them their medication.
The Hobby Lobby ruling was a bad decision based on bad facts, and lack of knowing all of the facts. The other side will say that it’s a win for religious freedom, but, there will be many women paying a big price for that freedom.
If you would like to spread some facts on The Pill and other forms of contraceptives; including who uses it by religion, age, socio-economic standings, reasons, please check out this fact sheet by the Guttmacher Institute “Contraceptive use in the US.”
 Jones RK, Beyond Birth Control: The Overlooked Benefits of Oral Contraceptive Pills, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2011.