Keep boardroom out of my bedroom

By Branda Mitchell

On June 30, the Supreme Court handed down their 5 – 4 ruling that making family-owned corporations pay for contraceptive insurance coverage violates their religious freedom. What about my right to reproductive freedom?

In no way, shape or form should my employer have any say or even knowledge in the type of health care I choose to utilize.

“Indeed, until today, religious exemptions had never been extended to any entity operating in ‘the commercial, profit-making world,’ ” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissenting opinion of the case. “The reason why is hardly obscure. Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community. Indeed, by law, no religion-based criterion can restrict the work force of for-profit corporations.”


Let’s begin with the fact that this ruling states that corporations now have religious freedoms. Since when do non-human entities get inalienable human rights? And if they are now in fact allowed to practice religious freedom, why is it taking precedent over the actual human beings who work for these corporations’ rights?

Additionally, this case’s weak argument further proves the hypocrisy of the majority opinion sitting on the Supreme Court. This case was so narrow by only addressing birth control. There are so many facets to religion that was not even addressed in this case, which is now causing a slippery slope.

One of the long standing arguments in the Catholic church’s opposition to birth control is that they believe life starts at conception, so interrupting that natural process is against their religious beliefs. However, Hobby Lobby, who brought this case to the Supreme Court, will still pay for male vasectomies. In what capacity is that not sexist and going against everything they say they stand for?

A corporation that represents a significant amount of the American population may have brought upon this particular case, but they do not represent everyone. If a corporation owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses wanted to celebrate their religious freedoms — such as not allowing blood transfusions — in the type of health coverage they provide, they would be told it was unconstitutional not to provide that service. Yet, birth control is somehow on its own playing field.

Justice Ginsburg and I are definitely not the only ones who feel this way. Ginsburg cited a brief from the Guttmacher Institute in her dissent explaining that some women cannot afford the most effective means of birth control, resulting in increased abortions and unwanted pregnancies.

So even though the corporations don’t want to support abortions, they also do not want to provide the preventative care to avoid them. This is a massive step in the wrong direction for women’s rights.