Why Hobby Lobby is not about women’s health

hobby lobby

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 early this week that the closely-held private companies Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are not required to provide certain forms of contraception to their employees—specifically, those that the companies’ owners believe act as abortifacients.

The White House—and media sources—immediately responded to the Court’s ruling by decrying that it “jeopardizes” women’s health. Sandra Fluke at the Washington Post opined about something she called the “current reproductive rights environment,” arguing, “Opponents of reproductive rights are trying to limit access to comprehensive women’s health care from all directions.”

Amy Davidson at The New Yorker wrote that in this case, “Women’s health is treated as something troublesome—less like other kinds of health care, which a company should be asked to pay for, than as a burden for those who have to contemplate it.” President Obama’s press secretary announced that the President would work with Congress to ensure that the women employed at these companies “have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else.”

Let’s ignore, for the moment, the fact that our highest Court is now ruling on such extremely private and morally charged issues as birth control. And let’s put aside the weirdness that is our health system, in which insurance is somehow supposed to be involved in your decisions about whether or not to have a baby.

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