Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York, thinks it's totally okay for private companies like Hobby Lobby to categorically deny their female employees insurance coverage for birth control, because "By Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them." Yes, By Lord, you can easily find the IUD dispensary wedged right between the Slurpee machine and the sweaty week-old hot dogs stewing in their own juices.
This weekend, Dolan appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" and applauded the owners of Hobby Lobby for being "true Americans." Although he admitted that the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Hobby Lobby could set a "dangerous precedent," he thinks the SCOTUS would be very justified in doing so, for some dumb and wrong reasons:
Is the ability to buy contraceptives that are now widely available — by Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them — is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience? I don't think so, but I hope the Supreme Court agrees.
The only contraceptives sold at 7-11 are condoms, which Hobby Lobby has no problem covering. Hobby Lobby does not want to cover the morning after pill and IUD devices (and also related education and counseling, which would effectively prohibit doctors from telling their patients about these forms of contraception). As Katie McDonough points out at Salon, this overly-simplistic view "ignores the question of affordable access — the very reason that the Affordable Care Act stopped making women pay extra for basic medical care." Plan B, despite being available over the counter, is far more expensive than condoms, at $50-60. The IUD can cost up to $1000.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood president said, "This demonstrates once again why we need to leave decisions about birth control between a woman and her doctor, not her boss at an arts and crafts store. Ask any woman that has had to fill a prescription for birth control and she'll tell you: it's not nearly as convenient as getting a pack of gum or chips at 7-11."
Image via AP.