It's contraception game time: puritanical fairytale "morals" will go up against the Obamacare birth control mandate over the next few weeks as four different appeals courts decide whether private businesses should be able to object to the policy on the grounds of religious freedom/thinking unchained vaginas are icky. Opponents hope the cases will go all the way to the Supreme Court. Women hope their employers will stop telling them what type of sex to have and when to have it.
In early February, we covered the first 18 for-profit companies whining about how they'll go to hell if they enable their employees to access affordable reproductive health care. By now, 31 cases have been brought by for-profit companies, according to the National Women's Law Center.
Today, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in two of those cases: Korte & Luitjohan Contractors and Grote Industries, businesses involved in construction and manufacturing. Jesus may have been a carpenter, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't want women to control their own bodies.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow in a similar case brought by national craft supply chain Hobby Lobby; consider embroidering "My Company Hates My Sinful Uterus" on a pillow in protest. The 3rd Circuit will hear a challenge brought by a wooden cabinet company on May 30 and the 6th Circuit will hear a challenge brought by another manufacturing company on June 11. The bottom line: none of these businesses have any business pretending they're eligible for religious exceptions.
"The decision in these cases will have important implications for how we think about business’ claims that, because of religion, they do not have to comply with the law," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Louise Melling wrote to us in an email. "The question is important for the many cases pending all across the country challenging the federal contraceptive rule, as well as for other claims for exemptions now percolating across the country. Businesses –including inns and bakeries and others – are arguing a right to an exemption from laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, for example. The issue is, do religious beliefs make it okay for a business to discriminate? We think not."
We think not as well.
<em><small>Image via Barbara J. Johnson/Shutterstock.</small></em>