During the middle of the classic 1980’s tv series, The Cosby show, an episode premiered in which the adult male characters of the show were pregnant.
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby. The ruling states any for profit company who provides their employees health coverage through the Affordable Care Act can claim religious exemption and not include FDA approved contraception under the provided health insurance.
I’ve come to the conclusion that until the day men get pregnant and have to deal with everything that comes with pregnancy, women will be fighting for the right to accessible and reasonably priced birth control. While the plot of The Cosby Show played for laughs, art does not imitate life.
Having a child is a blessing, but let’s face it, it’s not easy, nor it is cheap.
According to CNN last year, a middle class couple who had a child in 2013 will spend $241,080 from the time the child is born up to age 18. That does not include the sky rocketing cost of college and the exorbitant student loan debt that college graduates have to pay off.
Not every woman uses birth control to prevent pregnancies. Some use it to treat medical conditions. Without the contraceptives covered until the employee health plan, that’s money that could be going to something else and maybe time away from the office because they are too sick to work.
Salaries are not what they were. Prices are going up. What happens to the mother who cannot afford birth control because her employer does not believe in it? She goes to the government for assistance. Another child, another family dependent on tax dollars for financial support.
The fact that this ruling exists and is now law creates a dangerous precedence. If a employer can claim religious exemption when eliminating birth control from the employee health plan, what else can they deny their employees? The right to deny an employee the right to add personal touches to their work space because they don’t like what they see? The right to turn down an employee’s request to use a personal day for religious observance because the employer and employee do not see eye to eye on religion?
The Hobby Lobby ruling is wrong. No employer has the right to dictate an employee’s beliefs. Period.