Photo courtesy of chron.com
Just weeks after banding together to do battle with contraception, conservatives in the United States have been dealt a decisive blow. Seven states and some religious organizations filed a lawsuit against Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act in an attempt to block the provision that requires employers to provide insurance policies that pay for contraception. Their quack suit was swiftly thrown out of court.
According to Republicans in Nebraska, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and South Carolina, this provision violates religious freedom because it requires religious-run institutions to allow female employees to use their medical insurance for contraception and sterilization. Not only do these organizations want to be exempt from providing this basic healthcare necessity, they don’t believe insurance policies should cover birth control at all.
In their bid to control women’s bodies, these blundering buffoons seem to have ignored some of the important provisions included in the new bill. First, organizations will be able to apply for religious exemption from the requirement. If they don’t qualify for this status, there is another law that allows groups who object to contraception to pass on one hundred percent of the cost to the insurance provider. If the above two conditions aren’t flexible enough, the law won’t even be enacted until 2013.
US District Judge Warren Urbom quickly dismissed the case, stating that the plaintiffs didn’t have any legal standing to challenge the law because their case was based mostly on hypothetical scenarios that have yet to happen. Urbom also stated that the states and organizations weren’t under any immediate harm from the law and that in fact, they may never feel any effects from this act. For organizations that portray themselves as being good examples of Christ-like behaviour, it seems that their holy rolling has steamrolled right over the freedom of choice of their employees.
In some way, society seems to be moving backwards. This lawsuit seems straight out of the early 20th century when women were chattel whose only contraceptive option was a backstreet abortion. I scratch my head in confusion when religious institutions are against both contraception and abortion. It is proven that with increased affordable access to contraception rates of abortion plummet. It would be more responsible to hand out prescriptions and condoms at the next church picnic than to continue with the current head-in-the-sand mentality.
Regardless of religious persuasion, people have sex. Outside of marriage. This isn’t a new phenomena; it has been happening for a millennia and will continue for the rest of human existence.
Kait Bolongaro loves to write about cultures and how people occupy them. She is a Masters student studying Journalism and Media Across Cultures in Denmark. She is a freelance journalist and photographer who is addicted to travelling and developing new stories. To follow her on her journeys, check out her website or follow her on twitter.