Monday, June 30, 2014

Split Decision Fallout

"Frankly, I don’t just want businesses to stay out of the bedroom, I want the government out of the bedroom too."
It has been rather interesting today watching, reading, and listening to the debate following the decision of the Supreme Court in favor of Hobby Lobby. So, what happened? Under Obamacare, companies that pay for insurance for their workers (and decide not to be fined) are required to use plans that include contraception. In the lawsuit, Hobby Lobby (along with other businesses) argued that they should be exempt from the new rule because their owners object to some forms of contraception on religious grounds.

The primary objective was to allow the company to opt out of covering morning after pills and IUD’s totaling 4 of the 20 widely used forms of birth control in this country on the grounds that they believe these measures to be a form of abortion and, therefore, against their religious beliefs. The Oklahoma City-based craft store chain operates 600 stores across the county employing over 15,000 full time employees.

In the end, the court interpreted a 1993 religious-freedom law passed by Congress. In a summary of the decision (the final vote was 5-4), Justice Samuel Alito stated that the aforementioned law gives closely held companies a right to religious freedom. Specifically, Alito concluded, “a corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends.”

In the dissenting opinion, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the majority was accused of finding in favor of the religious rights of a handful of corporate owners at the expense of “thousands of women” employed by Hobby Lobby and other companies who don’t share those views. To the surprise of no one, the Democrats took this opinion and did their best Forrest Gump impression. Run, Liberals, Run!

Since this decision, all social media streams have been flowing heavily and the party lines seemed to have become bolder since the final decision was reached. From the catchy slogans positioning this as anti-woman to the lies being spread that all forms of contraception are being pulled from the health plans offered by Hobby Lobby, it has been a day of sifting through the garbage and waiting for those brief glimpses of thoughtfulness (from both viewpoints). While the debate still rages as I wrap up this post, and it will certainly continue for the foreseeable future, the verdict has come and gone and individual liberty has won out.

While I am uncertain as to the means they used to reach their decision by expanding the rights of the corporation, I agree with the decision of the court. If it were an outright refusal to cover anything I would hold the opposite opinion. Preventative measures, still supported by hobby lobby, differ from those that are being refused. It is the gray world in which we live and no decision will satisfy everyone. We all make compromises in this country just keep in mind that these products are still available, they are still legal, it is simply a matter of who pays for them.

No one’s rights have been taken away it just takes a bit more effort to exercise those rights… individual rights are the responsibility of the individual. Too many people are expecting things to simply be handed to them. Frankly, I don’t just want businesses to stay out of the bedroom, I want the government out of the bedroom too. And I want the government out of my pocket as, in the end, we are the ones who are paying for these ‘expanded’ benefits whether we want them or agree with them. The government shouldn’t get in the way and/or exercise those rights on your behalf. It is your right, your freedom, your individual liberty, your faith, your responsibility.