Supreme Court Supremely Wrong on ‘Hobby Lobby’


Read more of our coverage on the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases here.

The feeling is familiar. A kind of uncertain anxiety in the pit of the stomach. A nervous looking, and looking again, knowing that the answer, positive or negative, could appear at any moment. The buzz of possibilities like a swarm of flies that make it hard to see straight. Am I supposed to wait two minutes or three? When will I know?

As I sat there refreshing my browser again and again, waiting to see what the U.S. Supreme Court had decided in the Hobby Lobby contraceptive coverage case, for some reason it reminded me of taking a pregnancy test. I was waiting, on pins and needles, for life-altering news that felt both deeply personal and to an extent beyond my control.

The more I think about it, the more the connection makes a kind of strange sense. After all, when pregnancy is a possibility—intended or not—it inspires a strange mix of hope and dread, fear and uncertainly. Regardless of your circumstances, or what you ultimately decide, it makes you think about your future.

When I saw that the decision was bad—that a bare majority of justices sided with Hobby Lobby—my heart sank. I’m still in shock. I’m still struggling to come to terms with the thought that the Supreme Court would actually invite discrimination and interference from bosses into the personal health decisions of women.

When I think about the future and what this case might mean, I am deeply concerned. I’m not a mother yet—thanks to my ability to access contraception for over a decade!—but I’d like to have kids in the not too distant future. It’s shocking that I might have to explain to those kids that, yes, contraception is an important part of health care, but no, you might not be able to get it if your boss doesn’t like the method you choose.

Like any policy or decision that makes health care less affordable, and therefore harder to get, this decision will undoubtedly fall hardest on those already struggling to get the care they need: young women, women of color, low-income women, and those living in rural and underserved areas.

I think about two sisters I met in Texas who can only afford one birth control pill pack a month, so they each take a pill every other day. (Needless to say, this is not an effective method to prevent unintended pregnancy.) I think about women struggling to pay for daycare and college tuition, who have to decide among basic necessities and who may forgo contraception in order to keep food on the family table. Anyone who fails to see the substantial burden of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for contraception out of pocket is deeply out of touch with our economy—and our communities.

To add insult to grievous injury, this decision is based on the absurd notion that a corporation has a greater right to religious liberty than an individual woman. This thinking extends the dystopian logic asserted in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which effectively equated corporations to “persons” for the purposes of First Amendment rights at the expense of the rights of actual people.

We are living in a political climate that is disturbingly dismissive of the civil rights—and indeed the humanity—of poor people, women of color, and immigrant families. Given this backdrop, the continued entrenchment of corporate “personhood” and the extension of civil rights to big business cuts deep and threatens darker days ahead.

What gives me a glimmer of hope is the knowledge that the wrongheaded Supreme Court majority is vastly outnumbered by the dissenting voices of women and families across this country. We’re sick of being bullied, singled out, and denied our human right to health care. And we’re only going to get louder and more organized with every new affront to our dignity.

In the meantime, I suppose women who are struggling to afford contraception will have to get creative if their employer decides to deny them coverage. Maybe Hobby Lobby can help us rig something up with popsicle sticks and hot glue?

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To schedule an interview with Kimberly Inez McGuire please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • ghhshirley

    The enduring power of judicial appointments (by the President, and confirmed by Congress) is one of the BIGGEST reasons why women MUST get out and vote Democratic in the upcoming November mid-term elections, and in 2016. We need to offset the radical conservatives on the bench, and in particular, in the Supreme Court.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/dameocrat Dameocrat

      Many dems are pro-life and even those who weren’t were willing to approve Supreme Court justices that weren’t.

      • lady_black

        You are conflating being privately “pro-life” and wishing to impose your standards on everyone else. I have no issues with how you wish to conduct your own life. You won’t be conducting mine, in any way, shape or form.

      • Shan

        This is not about “pro-life” at all.

  • red_zone

    This is gonna blow up in the Justices faces and they will look like bigger fools than they already are.

    • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

      Go here and see how foolish they already look. #hobbylobbylove

  • Jennifer Starr

    You are a terrible husband.

    • lady_black

      I would have buried him in the yard before the first year was up.

      • fiona64

        I would have told him to stuff it up his arse the minute he said that, and filed for divorce. You’re far more kind than I am in giving him any grace period whatsoever.

  • Unicorn Farm

    You’re welcome to choose such a miserable existence for yourself, but you need to stay the fuck away from me. Why is that so hard for you to understand? All of you Christian bigots need to stay the fuck away from me, and shut the fuck up trying to impose your sexist, bigoted beliefs on my life.

    • Shan

      I see you’re about as chronically furious as I’ve been the past couple of days from a “LEGALWTFHOW?” kind of standpoint.

  • red_zone

    And what makes you so certain your WIFE ‘abstained’?

    • lady_black

      I wouldn’t have.

      • fiona64

        Me, either.

  • goatini

    //I told my wife I would not have sex with her for over a year so that we’d have time to get our act together before having a kid.//

    Grounds for annulment

    • fiona64

      Yep.

  • Ella Warnock

    On the outside chance this isn’t a bullshit troll story . . . well, actually, it’s not passing the smell test for me. It’s just too absurd.

    • fiona64

      Actually, there are jerks like that out there. Assuming that his story is true, his wife must be seriously fucked-up to put up with him.

      • Ella Warnock

        Huh, well that’s a new kink I hadn’t heard of. Oh well, if she actually put up with such a preposterous thing, they probably deserve each other.

        • Jennifer Starr

          The very first thing I’d be doing is introducing him to the joys of spending nights sleeping on the sofa. The second thing would probably be to file for an annulment. What a louse.

          • Ella Warnock

            If he’s not interested in having sex other than for procreation or if pregnancy isn’t possible, I’m not sure how much of a punishment the sofa would be. Out of the house altogether until and unless he undergoes a radical attitude adjustment. ;->

          • Jennifer Starr

            Good idea :)

          • Mr. Conservative

            One thing you and Jennifer Starr need to understand is that a man’s home is his castle, and a man is king of his castle.

          • Jennifer Starr

            And that kind of attitude would have you sleeping in your car until the annulment came through. If you were lucky.

          • fiona64

            I wouldn’t even let the jerkwad have a car. You’re much nicer than I am.

          • fiona64

            And what you need to understand is that none of us give a shit about you and your beliefs. If you were my husband and pulled that kind of shit, your “castle” would be a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere.

          • kitler

            A woman has sovereignty over her body

          • Ella Warnock

            Trollin trollin trollin, keep those trolls a trollin RAWHIDE!

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            I am the Queen of my Castle. I own my home and live here with my children. I will never marry. Why buy the whole pig when all you want is 7 ozs of kielbasa.

          • lady_black

            Yep. And if my husband refused to have sex with me, I would crown him.

      • Shan

        Or maybe she was relieved.

  • fiona64

    You are welcome to remain celibate. As for me, I will save France. (h/t to Plum Dumpling for that line).

    You don’t get to decide for anyone but yourself, buddy. And I concur with Jennifer; you suck as a husband.

  • colleen2

    Thank you. This is a great example of why no self respecting, intelligent women want to marry the disgusting excuses for men that vote Republican.

    • Shan

      And a perfect example of why they’re all in a snit about how female sexuality needs to be controlled. First, they have to vilify female sexuality. Pretending it doesn’t exist (like this guy) is the easiest way. Then, they have to superimpose their own conditions for having sex, because making THEIR babies is the only reason women should have sex.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    I never ever want to do what you think of as sex. Not ever. Not with anyone. OMG you skeeve me. Ewwwwwww.

  • Shan

    I suspect someone is trolling.

  • nobigwhoopdawg

    I am choosing to think of this as a piece of satire. The only trouble with it is that it’s not too far from what some completely serious people say.

    I could be wrong about it being satire, of course. Which is sad.

  • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

    The solution is to either pay for the things you want yourself, or to work for a company which will cover those things for you.

    • fiona64

      … or for SomeGuyontheInternet to understand how compensation packages work.

      • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

        I understand how they work. I also understand that employment is voluntary, not compulsory. You are not obligated to work for any particular company against your will. If you find any given employer’s “compensation package” odious, then you are free to search for more gainful employment. I sure as hell know *I* did when I was unhappy with the benefits my previous employer was providing me (or not, in their case).

        • fiona64

          That’s right, there are so many jobs just lying around for the taking in every single city, everyone has the same level of education/skill, and there is no unemployment problem. @@ <– Those are my eyes rolling.

          You need to check your privilege, buddy.

          Which of your private medical decisions do you think should be made by your employer instead of by you and your doctor?

          Oh, wait! You're male, so this doesn't affect you at all … seeing as how the "narrow ruling" was only on things used by women. So, it's all good, right? You can just wave your big dumb paw in the air and keep on truckin'. Must be nice.

          • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

            You did quite a bit of typing but said nothing of importance.

            Whether or not there are hundreds of jobs lying around is immaterial to the underlying point, which you ignored. Employment is voluntary. If you don’t like the fact that a particular employer won’t cover the things you want, then find an employer who does. The fact of the matter is that for all your (and not just you in particular) screeching about choice, you want to force businesses to offer you employment and then cover what you think they should cover. That’s fascism 101. It’s a business’ CHOICE to extend you employment and it’s your CHOICE to continue working there. Just because they CHOOSE not to cover X, does NOT mean that you are prevented from using some of the wages they pay you to BUY X yourself. No one is stopping you from using any form of birth control. You just don’t want to have to pay for it on your own dime, which is what the screeching boils down to.

            By the way, drop the “privilege” talk. It’s idiotic. You don’t know me, what the color of my skin is, where I’ve been nor what I’ve gone through in life.

          • fiona64

            I’m going to address your last point first. Privilege is more than what you’ve “gone through in life.” If you’re male, you have privilege above females. If you’re a white, hetero, cisgendered male, you sit at the top of the privilege ladder — which was created by white, hetero, cisgendered men.

            The fact that you argue that a given woman in a given location can just run out and get another job, without knowing the first thing about the economics of the location, that woman’s skill set, etc., betrays an incredible level of privilege.

            Then, you shrieked this steaming pile of dung: Just because they CHOOSE not to cover X, does NOT mean that you are
            prevented from using some of the wages they pay you to BUY X yourself. No one is stopping you from using any form of birth control. You just don’t want to have to pay for it on your own dime, which is what the screeching boils down to.

            There’s a whole slew of wrong here, but I’ll start at the end. First of all, women DO PAY FOR INSURANCE. Premiums our taken out of our paychecks for it (remember my earlier point about how you don’t seem to understand compensation packages). You are demanding that women pay for the same thing *twice.* Hobby Lobby pulled a bait-and-switch on its employees, since hormonal contraception was previously covered. Do you think that a woman’s premium is going to go down since it isn’t? Furthermore, do you really think it’s okay for an employer to offer men full coverage but only partial coverage to women?

            And now let’s get down to brass tacks, since you accuse me of personally wanting “someone else to pay for something.” As I already told you, I got a tubal ligation more than 20 years ago. Neither you nor anyone else paid for it, so you can take that bullshit attitude of yours and stick it. My dog in this hunt is that an employer can claim that his or her “religious belief” (flying in the face of demonstrable science) gives him or her the right to make medical decisions for *women.*

            That you openly approve of this demonstrates a level of misogyny that should give any thinking individual pause.

          • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

            I’ll be honest. I skimmed what you wrote, as that’s just too long for no given reason.

            1.) Again, the job market has no bearing on this discussion. Simply because the job market is terrible does not mean an employer should cover what you want them to cover. That doesn’t make any sense as the two are unrelated in their entirety.

            2.) Hobby Lobby isn’t refusing to pay for hormonal contraception. They objected to things they consider abortificients (like the IUD), something they never covered in the first place.

            3.) So what if someone makes minimum wage? If that person is unhappy with their wages or their benefits, then they don’t have to work for the company. I realize I’ve said this three times now, but it bear repeating. Employment is not compulsory.

            What it boils down to is that you’re upset because SCOTUS ruled, in this case, Hobby Lobby doesn’t have to cover those things they don’t want to.

            Oh, and if a woman can’t afford to pay for an IUD then she should either budget, look at less costly forms of birth control or well, yeah, keep her legs closed.

          • Dez

            That last paragraph shows that everyone on here should ignore you as a misogynistic ahole.

          • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

            I don’t think you know the true meaning of that word.

          • Guest

            No I don’t think you do. No one who respects women would tell them to “keep their legs closed.”

          • P. McCoy

            You know that this is not a first.amendment issue so the battle has just begun. Preventing pregnancies can also be achieved by keeping your johnson in your pants too. When cretins like YOU get horny and find you won’t get any you’ll think again about birth control as a cheap luxury instead of as a right!

          • fiona64

            Keep on displaying both your privilege and your misogyny, sweetie. You’re doing a fabulous job of proving *my* point.

          • fiona64

            They objected to things they consider abortificients (like the IUD), something they never covered in the first place.

            Yes, actually, they did cover them previously. Furthermore, they invest in the companies that make them.

            And whether they “consider” an IUD an abortifacient or not, the simple fact remains that it IS NOT. Roberts et al said right in the opinion that, in a nutshell, it doesn’t matter what the truth is … what matters is what these anti-science simpletons *believe.*

          • lady_black

            If you’re married, I hope your wife closes her legs to you.

    • colleen2

      No, the solution is far more complex than that. We will start by destroying the businesses and political party that subscribe to the vile idea that a religious right Republican has the right to impose his religion onto his female (and only female) employees. The backlash will hurt.

      • SomeGuyOnTheInternet

        Okay. Good luck with that. Tell me how it works out for you.

      • P. McCoy

        Vote out would be theocrats trying to establish a Christian Taliban here and start a movement to change the 1ST amendment to protect us from theocracy and religious tyranny.

  • kitler

    Bull.

  • P. McCoy

    Who cares about what a pencil d**k cult controlled moron like YOU thinks? Probably you’re on Viagra on.your BEST nights anyway!

  • Mr. Conservative

    Cross my heart and hope to die I wasn’t.

    • lady_black

      You can be sure your wife was having sex elsewhere, chump.

  • fiona64

    More’s the pity.

  • Jennifer Starr

    And I suppose you overlooked the days when the postman or the neighbor seemed to wear an extra-big smile….you know, it’s a shame that milk isn’t delivered anymore…

  • Jennifer Starr

    Are you telling us that you weren’t faithful?

    • Mr. Conservative

      No, I was faith alright. As I wrote in my first post, my wife and I resumed having sex when she hit menopause.

      • lady_black

        If you were my husband, I would have done away with you long before that.

  • StealthGaytheist

    Cool story, Mr. Poe.

  • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

    Of course I want sex. I never ever want to do what you think of as sex. Not ever. Not with anyone. OMG you skeeve me. Ewwwwwww.

  • Frank Chan

    Your Christian values do not apply to anyone but you… You need to truly understand that and accept it, then think about where you can legitimately stand

  • JamieHaman

    You clearly have no idea how the birth control pill works. A woman is supposed to use extra protection for the first month on the pill.
    You have no idea whether or not the two sisters are single, or married. How many men do you suppose are going to say, “Well OK, I can do without for a month, every other month, no problem?
    I don’t think it’s going to be very many either. Not much of a solution if it won’t work is it?
    Frankly, from the pompous, smug, self righteous tone of your comment, I would not be surprised it you could abstain for much longer than a month and indeed your comment proves it.

  • lady_black

    She mellowed out because she was getting her satisfaction elsewhere.

  • Suba gunawardana

    Recurring phrase “I told my wife I wouldn’t have sex with her until…”

    The choice is ALWAYS upto you? Talk about misogyny!

  • xuinkrbin

    Ms. Inez McGuire, Your article strongly suggests You did not read the actual court opinion. No reasonable Person can read the actual opinion of the court and come to the conclusions You have presented here. Please, please, please, read the ruling before talking about it any more.

  • BelligerentBruncher

    This is a private company, correct? They should be allowed to decide what they want to cover and what they don’t want to cover.

    I mean, my health insurance company has decided that they are not covering a dental plan. How is that any different?

    Look, I understand that an election is coming up in 2016 and you sheep need something to be outraged over, but this isn’t it.

  • mysticwine

    You comatose baby killer!

  • Real Vegas

    Try this… Google ” free Contraception” . Get back to me …Next!

  • mysticwine

    Eat your hearts out commies! Your days are numbered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!