Hobby Lobby is both a person and and a company (in the US)

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The US Supreme court has made some pretty poor decisions recently but this one may take the biscuit.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) put the emphasis on the employer (or the state if you are not employed) to provide you with basic healthcare at a reasonable cost. It also mandates a minimum standard for that healthcare for the first time.

This US provider of craft products appealed the new rules up to the supreme court because part of that package of healthcare was contraception, to which the owners of the  company say they have a biblical objection.

The supreme court just agreed with them so they no longer have to provide this part of the package for their employees.

The grounds for making this ridiculous decision – that the company was a person and the constitution guaranteed them religious freedom!

Together with the new rules on abortion I talked about in my previous blog post America’s hard won reproductive rights for women are being rolled back at an alarming rate by the Right at the moment.

There are a lot of links with contradictory opinions below. As I usually do I tried to sift through to get to the heart of the issue – but its not as simple as that. Maybe its a product of the strange place US politics are in at the moment but there is far more spin than fact in nearly all of them.

I think the key to the whole thing is the article about Abortion being the issue. Its not mentioned in many of the articles but the contraceptives Hobby Lobby don’t want to provide are the Morning after Pill and other devices (such as an IUD) and drugs they see as causing abortions – the termination of very early term pregnancies.

While I don’t agree with this (and don’t think the science backs them up) it at least makes more sense. What also starts to come through is that the SCOTUS gave President Obama an out – one he already had to provide to convents and religious orders with the same issue – namely that the government pays for this part of the health care package not the employer or provider. Its just that when they framed the bill nobody expected to have to provide the same exemption for businesses – after all businesses are not people or religious orders are they???

I think the whole things is mixed up with a lot more political agendas – the right mostly want to water down Obamacare and will keep on pushing for exemption after exemption until it becomes ineffective. For them this is the first victory in a long battle to destroy something they hate.  For the left it is an opportunity to try and show up the right and to some extent SCOTUS on an issue which they know will be recognised by women who they know are on of their core voting groups.

Basically its a mess – and some of the rest of Americas much vaunted political system is currently little better off.  (Not that we can talk!) My Long Read blog post on changes to laws on abortion in Texas (linked to below) is about how contentious the abortion issue is in the US right now and when you put the two cases together you can see where they think the issue is – however much I disagree with them.

The new links at the bottom shows that this was at best what the Justice who wrote the opinion told his colleagues was going on, The reality is that the Supreme court is now telling lesser courts all over the Us to reconsider earlier cases where they denied exemptions on similar grounds. It looks like all contraception and anything you can object on christian religious grounds will eventually be covered. It is about gutting the Affordable Care Act after all.

Hobby Lobby wins in narrow ruling

The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg’s Dissent on the Hobby Lobby Contraception Decision

In Hobby Lobby Case, the Supreme Court Chooses Religion Over Science

Hobby Lobby’s Hypocrisy –  The Company’s Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers

The Hobby Lobby Ruling Isn’t About Religious Liberty—It’s About Conservative Sexual Morality

SCOTUS gets Hobby Lobby horribly wrong – Why this isn’t a “limited” ruling

It’s Not Just Hobby Lobby – These 71 Companies Don’t Want to Cover Your Birth Control Either

Hopelessly backward contraception politics make comeback

Hobby Lobby Wasn’t About Religious Freedom. It Was About Abortion

The Hobby Lobby Decision Was a Victory for Women’s Rights

How Obama Can Make Sure Hobby Lobby’s Female Employees Are Covered

QEDaily: Hobby Lobby, Sex, and Responsibility

Hillary Clinton on Hobby Lobby – ‘I Find It Deeply Disturbing

The Christian right’s twisted notion of religious freedom – Evangelicals think the Constitution gives them power to force their faith on others. Here’s why they’re delusional

Bill O’Reilly celebrates himself for getting Hobby Lobby “right” while lying through his teeth about Hobby Lobby (Video)

We are a corporate theocracy now – The Christian right seeks cultural and political domination

Blame It on the Patriarchy

Corporations – Still Not People

John Roberts, abysmal failure – How his court was disgraced by corporations and theocrats

Alito could have been stopped – Why Dems should have filibustered the radical

Supreme Court Broadens Hobby Lobby Ruling to All Forms of Birth Control

Womens Reproductive rights under fire in the US (Long Read) (Blog Post)

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A Very Convenient Kind Of Relgious Freedom