Transparently Bad Religious Arguments Against Contraception

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:46 EDT
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As this Daily Show clip amply demonstrates, right wing media has abandoned any pretense that they object to contraception coverage for noble reasons, and have instead just moved on to talking about women who use contraception (aka, nearly all women at some point in their lives) as if they’re oversexed morons who contribute nothing of value to society.

But if you’ll recall, the initial objections to classifying contraception as preventive medicine, qualifying it as one of the many services that insurance plans must cover without a copay, were framed as religious objections. Religion, after all, is the go-to excuse conservatives whip out when they know they don’t actually have an argument. Well, while the conservative media has dropped that somewhat in favor of just whipping up hysteria about those sexy young single women that you, the Fox viewer, will never get to fuck, the lawsuits trying to block the mandate are still being argued about on religious grounds. But, let’s be clear, they are not being argued well.

Hobby Lobby lost another round today in the litigation over offering contraception coverage to its 13,000 employees that are eligible for health insurance coverage. Once again, it was found that secular businesses cannot put religious restrictions on their employees, which has long been held to be a right that only explicitly religious institutions like churches have. Make no mistake about this: If businesses like Hobby Lobby successfully litigate this, it opens up a whole new door in allowing private businesses to opt out of all sorts of regulations on the grounds of religion, including anti-discrimination laws. They’re basically saying they should be able to pay you less in benefits than everyone else is because they think sex is icky cuz Jesus.

The blatant opportunism of this contraception kerfuffle is astounding, actually. It’s clear that anti-choicers have been trying to find an opportunity to attack contraception access and they think this is their chance. A bunch of Catholic non-profits are asking for an extension in having to comply with the contraception mandate, even though they already cover contraception in their insurance plan. You read that right. Their plan was already covering a percentage of their employees’ contraception costs, but now that it’s going to be 100%, they’re throwing a temper tantrum. It couldn’t be more blatantly obvious that this isn’t about some abstract principle, but simply an attempt to restrict women’s choices however they can. After all, the only real difference between covering, say, 25% of it and 100% of it is that in the latter case, a woman’s contraception choices won’t be restrained by what she thinks she can afford. This is close to total freedom of choice in contraception, making previously expensive but long-term forms like the IUD cheaper to the patient than a box of condoms.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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