Birth Control and (In)Justice

July 11, 2014

In the wake of the recent SCOTUS decision upholding Hobby Lobby’s right to refuse to provide insurance coverage for certain contraceptives, some protesters have turned to making arguments based on medical problems that are treated by the birth control methods Hobby Lobby is now allowed to exclude. There is no question that these medications can address some problems that have nothing to do with sexual activity. Nevertheless, as Irin Carmon notes in today’s Link, arguing from this angle ignores the insane and unjust reality that an employer is now allowed to decide which birth control methods most female employees can afford, and which they cannot.

Initially, Carmon asks us to remember Sandra Fluke, who, after advocating for a friend with polycystic ovarian syndrome, found herself in a maelstrom of hate that shifted the entire issue to Ms. Fluke’s sexuality (Rush Limbaugh’s called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his show).

But Carmon also asks readers to consider that, “Focusing so much on medical reasons for contraception too easily veers into apologizing for using birth control for its main purpose. And it ignores the fact that for millions of women, simply being able to decide if and when they get pregnant has liberated them to pursue their dreams on their own terms – along with protecting their health in a variety of ways.

Read Irin Carmon’s article here.

posted by Corbin Lambeth

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