The blogosphere and Facebook are alit with opinions and reposts of graphics and a lot of good, old-fashioned righteous indignation. Count The Old Sprawler among them.
In their case, the Hobby Lobby sought an exemption from the terms of the Affordable Care Act that would enable them to refuse coverage for drugs or devices that could be construed to cause abortion. At issue is the so-called narrow definition the Five Old Farts claim they have imposed, and what Justice Ginsberg says is a freshly opened can of worms.
The Old Sprawler never disagrees with Justice Ginsberg. She has forged the legal pathways for women's rights. Call her the legal Sacajawea for bravely facing the Supreme Court in representing the larger issues that have paved the way for equal pay, abortion rights and indeed many smaller victories that have added to our ability to live our lives as we see fit. I bow to her Supreme Wisdom as a woman of principle and in possession of a superior legal mind. Like a lot of women, she can cut through the crap and expose hypocrisy at the core of most of male-kind's worst ideas.
The question for today is this: have we women been handed a glass that is half full or half empty?
The Old Sprawler is still pondering this. For example, this might be what we need to energize the Democratic base - and especially the lazy younger women who tend to not show up at the polls during mid-term elections. That's a half full situation.
On the other hand, this could be the can of worms that gives those Five Old Farts the opening to revisit Roe vs. Wade. That's not even half empty....that's dry as a bone. The LAST thing we need is for a court made up of those old jackasses to decide that one should be tossed! Women, what is a four letter word for defiled?
The reason this is an important decision, however is that women use The Pill for a number of medically approved remedies. Things like endometriosis, for example. A painful condition that is actually helped by taking oral contraceptives. Some younger women have it prescribed because it helps deal with severe cramping... the kind that have them doubled over in pain, running to the bathroom with diarrhea and severe bleeding. It also helps with menstrual flow that is excessive or exceedingly irregular. The list of good reasons to take it is long, but it should be something that comes from the doctor and no one should be allowed to prevent a woman from having a break on that prescription cost in her insurance.
Consider the one thing they are not proposing to remove from their list: Viagra or Cialis. Hobby Lobby and their ilk are mighty fine with men getting an insurance negotiated discount on getting their dicks hard. Even if they aren't using said dick for anything remotely connected with actual procreation... For all we know, they are allowing gay men to get Viagra for their own enjoyment.
So the Five Old Farts have opened the doors wide to the double standard. A two car garage, if you will.
Justice Ginsberg pointed out that women working at a joint like the craft store get minimum wage and the cost of an IUD, if that's what her doctor has decided is best and safest for her, is beyond her ability to pay. A woman getting minimum wage is contributing very little to her family's bottom line to begin with, and since it is more than likely a part time position, there is even less money available. This is the kind of woman who, if she is being careful about family planning, is being exceedingly responsible in The Old Sprawler's view.
The Five Old Farts don't see it that way. They think the for-profit corporation has the right to restrict what the ladies may and may not take for medications. It's not mother-may-I?, it's boss-may-I? And since when does anyone's boss have any business meddling in a woman's sex life?
To be sure, those who are trying to downplay the ramifications are loudly proclaiming that the decision was written narrowly. By whose definition? Would they still be saying that if the decree limited what men could use to attain an erection? What if a guy's doc said, "Nope. No drugs. You can't take those. But you could use a pump." And what if the company/person said, "Oho! We don't cover THAT. It's evil! It will encourage debauchery and wanton sex! You can only have the drugs." Would men be up in arms? You can bet your sweet bippy!
So here it is. The solution is simple: women need to get out the vote because this time around, their lives depend on it. This isn't some time in the future. This is now and this is serious. You young female voting slackers need to get on the stick. It's time to defy this new definition. Even if your plan covers contraception or after-the-fact meds, your sisters in arms may not have that luxury and to paraphrase Ben Franklin, we might as well hang together, for we are certain to hang separately.