Having firmly established that closely held corporations (and probably publicly traded ones as well) can assert religious objections under the RFRA, the Court turns its attention to the birth control benefit specifically.
And here is where the Court’s deeply ingrained misogyny shines brightest.
Justice Alito writes that the Hahns and the Greens—the families who, respectively, own Conestoga Wood Specialties and Hobby Lobby—have a sincere religious belief that life begins at conception and that their religious beliefs provide both that they offer insurance coverage for their employees, but only insurance coverage that conforms to those religious beliefs. Justice Alito takes this as an opportunity to misstate the coverage requirements of the ACA. “Before the advent of the ACA, they were not legally compelled to provide insurance,” wrote Alito, “but they nevertheless did so—in part, no doubt, for conventional business reasons but also in part because their religious beliefs govern their relations with their employees.”
Of course, the ACA does not require employers to provide any health insurance coverage for their employees. Instead, the law requires those employers that do provide health insurance coverage offer that coverage equally for both men and women.
This a la carte type of coverage, where employers maintain ultimate veto authority over the scope of employee benefits, is of course the endgame to all these contraception challenges, and by opening the door to religious objections like Hobby Lobby the Court has set the stage for just that. The parties in Hobby Lobby sincerely, and wrongly, believe that emergency contraception and some forms of intrauterine devices (IUDs) act as abortifacients. But according to Alito, it doesn’t matter that the Greens and Hahns are wrong. All that matters is that they sincerely believe they are right.
We don’t have to go back any further than Thursday of last week to find another anti-female ruling from this court. Unfortunately, in McCullen v Coakely, a unanimous out-of-touch bench found that the first amendment rights of anti-choice protesters to harass, accost and assault any woman attempting to visit the doctor of her choice to have a constitutionally permitted procedure trumps that woman’s first amendment rights. Brazenly misogynistic, even if the female members of the court went along with the insanity.
As Jessica Mason Pieklo also wrote, it’s as if the women seeking medical care in question didn’t exist at all!
The trope of anti-choice protesters as “plump grandmas” helped the media and the U.S. Supreme Court not just gloss over the very real threats of violence that abortion providers and patients face, but also erase providers and patients from the Supreme Court’s analysis almost entirely.
Since 1977, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has documented eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 181 arson cases, 399 invasions, 100 acid attacks, and 663 bioterrorism threats targeting abortion providers and their facilities. A September 2013 survey of U.S. NAF members found that nearly 90 percent of providers had a patient entering their facility express concerns about their personal safety. At the Daily Beast, Sally Kohn reminds us that within an hour of the 1994 murders of abortion clinic workers in Massachusetts, which led to the eventual creation of clinic buffer zones, a woman called one of the clinics attacked and told the staff person who answered, “You got what you deserved.” Meanwhile, Donald Spitz, the director of Pro-Life Virginia, thanked John C. Salvi publicly for his murders as throngs of supporters cheered along enthusiastically outside the prison holding Salvi.
On Thursday, a unanimous Supreme Court looked past all that history—because, as Chief Justice John Roberts writing for the majority pointed out, the violent face of the anti-choice movement was not before the Court in McCullen. The “gentle” grandmas were.
It’s enough to make you want to scream!
There are just two (among, unfortunately, many) examples of misogyny coming down from the highest court in the land, both with the backdrop of religion- the oldest bastion of misogyny in the world. And it’s not only good old Amerikkan Christianity. Just last week, we saw some good old-fashioned Biblical-type anti-woman action from the M&M’s – Mormons and Muslims.
One of the great problems in our world is patriarchy. The late James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, put best in song, “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World.”
Patriarchy assumes that men are made to lead and women are simply cooperative and reproductive subordinates.
These assumptions come to light in all kinds of ways, but especially through religion — the various faiths that treat women as though they are not equal to men.
(…) There is a direct link between Kate Kelly, a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter day-Saints, who was excommunicated on charges of apostasy, and Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her supposed apostasy.
And the link is deeper than the charge of abandoning one’s faith.
(…) One dared to say that women could exercise religious authority where men are the “elders” and keepers of the Kingdom.
The other, standing before an all-male court, refused to renounce her faith.
In both cases, men were the judges and held the keys to life and death – literally, in Ibrahim’s case.
I invite you to read the entire article – “Hey religion, your misogyny is showing,“ written by Randal Maurice Jelks, a professor of American and African-American studies at the University of Kansas and co-editor of the blog The Black Bottom, and published at CNN.com.
Of course, misogyny in American isn’t only limited to the Supreme Court and the world’s religions. It’s apparently ingrained into the sick minds of mass murderers as we learned from the Isla Vista- Santa Barbara massacre just over a month ago. At least in the aftermath of that sickening tragedy, we had some pushback with the #YesAllWomen hashtag campaign.
Global misogyny is on display in Nigeria, where hundreds of school girls were kidnapped by the militant group Boko Haram who believe that girls should not be educated, but are to be used as cooks or sex slaves. Just this week, to little if any fanfare, it was announced that the missing girls may never be found due to the lack of immediate action to find them.
Of course, we need look no further than Washington DC to find the most egregious example of misogyny. It’s based on inaction. The fact that women, to this day, have no constitutional right to equality. The Equal Rights Amendment has still not been ratified!
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Those are the few simple words that could change things here for we, the women of the United States of America. It’s long past time to do this already.
Also on the show today to discuss this and more, the fabulous female known as GottaLaff of The Political Carnival.
We also checked in on the action outside the FCC, where some street theater was taking place this morning to call attention to the proposed assault on Net Neutrality. I discussed it with FreePress.net‘s Craig Aaron. BTW, you can still submit your comments on these proposed changes. Just visit SaveTheInternet.com.
Tomorrow, we’ll delve into the other decision the Court got wrong yesterday, dealing with public service unions, as AFT president Randi Weingarten guests. We’ll also talk with Crooks & Liars’ Susie Madrak… radio or not!