Last week held a pair of frankly offensive, heartbreaking, and in combination baffling rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States.
I will be writing to the Justices to let them know how I feel – about this unfortunate turn in their incorporating religion, and for those stellar dissents written by Justices Bader Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
Justice (or Chief Justice) (Justice’s Full Name)
Supreme Court of the United States
One First Street N.E.
Washington, DC 20543
Chief Justice John Roberts
Justice Samuel Alito
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Justice Stephen Breyer
Justice Elena Kagan
Justice Anthony Kennedy
Justice Antonin Scalia
Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Clarence Thomas
The Supreme Court yesterday showed its hand, in no uncertain terms. Their ruling in the Hobby Lobby case answers the question “Why isn’t Texas trying to get its court to the Supreme Court faster?” In a decision that was disappointing, but not surprising, they ruled that a “closely held” corporation (most of them) can pick and choose their employees benefits access (in violation of the ACA). This is particularly ridiculous since health insurance is compensation, and extra ridiculous since Hobby Lobby used to provide such health insurance until the ACA required it. Possibly the worst part is that the company claimed certain birth control methods were abortifactants. They aren’t, which makes it even more ridiculous. But the court ruled since the company had “sincerely held religious beliefs” EVEN THOSE BELIEFS ARE SCIENTIFIC NONSENSE, they can do as they please.
You can argue about why this ruling went down the way it did, but the result is obvious. More vulnerable families will be stripped of access and rights they deserve. Not to mention birth control they need.
Sorry, I need to pause. Did you see the people celebrating on the steps of the Supreme Court? Because FIVE MALE CATHOLIC justices just decided that birth control was totally up for debate.
As an aside, they also made clear in the decision that OTHER medical procedures that OTHER religions found objectionable were NOT up for debate, but thanks for asking.
Are you mad yet? I am. Please sit down and write a letter – to your doctor, and apparently now to every business on the planet. I support access to a full range of reproductive healthcare – from abortion, to birth control, to everything in between.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled against a buffer zone law in Massachusetts, requiring protesters stay 35ft back from clinic entrances. The law had been crafted after a violent summer of anti-abortion protests in 1994, which culminated in the killings of two clinic workers in Brookline.
This was framed as a free speech issue, as if random strangers have the right to accost people seeking medical attention, and harangue them with religious beliefs. As if the right to free speech somehow demands that speech be heard. A lot has been written about that today, and I’m not going to get into the legal arguments. I will just say this.
The law applies to “reproductive health care facilities”, “a place where abortions are performed.”
Imagine a world in which abortion was an integrated part of healthcare. Where would they picket? How would they find enough people, or the time? How would they know if they were yelling at someone who was getting their wisdom teeth pulled, or an abortion? If they decided to picket some random clinic, where you were taking your kid for their checkup, how long would you tolerate that nonsense?
Imagine a world where we protected our providers and their patients with our bodies, because they were just mixed in with all the everyday medical care happening.
We have allowed abortion patients and providers to be separated out, to treat them differently. This is on us. Write a letter to your local hospital or your OB/Gyn.