As a woman, I take exception to the idea that free birth control - paid for and endorsed, supplied and sponsored by others, is a "right." Yet, the left, ever eager to distill often complex arguments down to their most simplistic, cries out that those who fight against forced funding of birth control and abortion pills are engaging in a "war against women." The left just doesn't get it.
Never mind the many health problems that birth control pills and abortifacients actually cause - including deaths among young women who have taken so-called "abortion pills" and died from the hemorrhaging. To me, the idea that dangerous synthetic hormones is a basic "right" for women is so Orwellian as to be laughable.
But even if birth control pills - now a big cash cow for Big Pharma - were totally harmless, it still does not mean that every woman is owed a free monthly supply simply for being female in America.
The SCOTUS ruling favoring Hobby Lobby's exemption from paying for employee birth control (and specifically, "birth control" pills that are actually abortion pills) is a actually a win for true "choice" - but the left won't see it that way. It's ironic to me that the term "pro-choice" only refers to the "choice" of a woman to terminate a pregnancy or not.
It's a shame, because the term "pro-choice" actually speaks to the basic idea of libertarianism - that people have a right to choose when it comes to their speech, their associations, and their religion. And those rights extend to freedom of conscience. Why limit "choice" to pregnancy when "choice" really means so much more?
In reading some reactionary comments to the SCOTUS ruling, I've noticed that progressives show a complete lack of understanding of what a "right" is, or how "choice" in the truest sense of the word should be protected.
When I see a a person claim that the "Christo-fascists" are destroying "freedom," I have to shake my head. They don't understand that socialism destroys freedom - and forcing companies to provide certain benefits takes away freedom, and does not add to it. But to the die-hard progressive, a corporation isn't comprised of people, but is some evil, amorphous entity that must be controlled by the state.
To these well-meaning but misguided zealots, a "right" is some sort of asset, physical object or service that another person or group gives you - such as a money, a home, a custom wedding cake, or birth control pills.
It does not seem to occur to the social justice advocate that by granting a "right" to these objects, that someone else must provide the money, product, or service. By forcing someone else to provide the service or asset, you've basically made them your slave. Sure, it's not the same type of slavery as owning someone 24/7, but you've effectively made that person or group of people into your personal goods generator, against their will. You've determined that because that person or group exists, they must serve you.
By contrast, a libertarian understands that a true right is something that does not require the money, goods, or labor of another person. These rights include the right to life and the right to free speech. These are sometimes described as "negative rights," meaning they are simply the result of the absence of outside coercion or force. They are also called "natural rights," based on the idea that they come from "God" and not the state, but those aren't the best names for them.
I call these rights "peaceful rights," because they ultimately about limiting violence and coercion. Having the right to live does not mean you have the right to violently take from others in order to live. It simply means that someone does not have the right to take your life from you. However, the left would interpret the right to live as meaning that you have the right to the money, food, and clothing of another person in order to live. So what the left calls "rights" I deem "violent entitlements," because they require the use of force upon others to fulfill, and force is violence.
Therefore, to say you believe free birth control is a "right" means that you believe in the use of force to make other people give you your free birth control. Sure, that force might not come from the end of a sharp whip, but it comes in the form of coercive laws and penalties that in extreme cases could land someone in jail.
It is absolutely amazing to me that womens' "rights" advocates stood in front of the Supreme Court with signs that read: "Hey Supreme Court: No Bosses in My Bedroom," as if somehow giving Hobby Lobby the option to choose what benefits they provide their employees impinges on these womens' bedroom activities.
If anything, expecting and then forcing corporations to give you certain birth control perks with your employment means that you are in fact inviting those corporations into your bedroom. You are also inviting Big Pharma into your bedroom. You are basically abdicating your personal responsibility for your sexual behavior, as well as your health, by allowing large corporations and Big Pharma to determine what types of synthetic hormones you might be offered with your monthly paycheck.
To keep corporations out of your bedroom would actually be to lobby for the opposite - no mandated health insurance whatsoever.
That we've even gotten so far in this country, where it's become a mainstream idea that a business owes its employees birth control pills, is truly sad. As a former feminist and pro-choice activist (who has become more pro-life as I've gotten older), I am angered that feminism has become nothing more than a tool to drive sales for Big Pharma and abortion providers using coercive, mob politics.
Free birth control isn't actually free, anyway. The costs actually end up being sent back to you in the form of lowered wages (the corporation will simply pay you less per hour in order to pay for your mandated birth control pills).
For a woman such as myself, who will never use birth control pills again after experiencing their horrible side effects, I would be forced to pay for the birth control pills of other women in the office, even though I personally believe (based on research as well as my personal experience) that synthetic hormones are extremely bad for womens' long-term health and well-being. (And they do not prevent STDs!) My objection to forced free birth control is not religious, it's holistic.
So when the left claims that the right is taking away womens' rights, they have it "bass ackwards." The left claims that the religious right wants to force their beliefs down everyone's throats, but today's so-called "feminists" want to force their beliefs down people's throats in a much more direct fashion. They believe birth control is good and that every woman of child-bearing age should be using it. Therefore, they aim to use the government to make everyone comply with their point of view.
But "birth control is good" is just a a belief - it is not a fact, but simply a belief - and it is not even supported by science, what with more and more coming out about the dangers of synthetic hormones and their clear link to breast cancer, blood clots, and heart attacks.
To me, choice in this matter would be that I can negotiate with my potential employer regarding salary and benefits without the government telling both of us what type of health care coverage the employer needs to give me. I would prefer to get more in take-home pay instead of a Cadillac health care plan I might not use that much. I most certainly do not want money being taken out of my paycheck (directly or indirectly) for birth control pills I don't want. I want more out-of-pocket money to pay for things not covered by health insurance, such as herbs, naturopaths, and holistic healers.
True choice also means that a company owned by religious people can express their religion and conscience freely - as long as they are not coercing others in the process. Just because a religious business exists does not mean that it owes you anything. It most especially does not owe you a job with free birth control attached.
While I understand concerns over discrimination, ultimately by making discrimination the ultimate evil, we've handed away other important freedoms.
I've seen leftist commenters think they've "gotcha" when they say things like:
"Well, Christians, how would you feel about a Muslim business discriminating against Christians due to their religious belief?"
Thanks for asking, actually. As long as people are not actively committing violence against others, then I think that Muslims should be able to pick and choose what norms and benefits go on at their companies just as much as I do Christians, or atheists, or tattooed bearded ladies. If a fundamentalist Muslim company did not want to hire me due to being female...what good would it ultimately do me if the government forced them to hire me? I would not want to work for them and give them my time and talents anyway! I can work elsewhere. This is the choice the left does not see.
And that is true free "choice": You have the choice whether or not to spend money at that business or apply to a job there. Given the infinite amount of opportunity and choice in our modern society, it is sad that most people on the left cannot admit that there's room for companies of all types, catering to various constituents. Instead, they demand a one-size-fits all approach as a magic bullet to cure all social problems.
In China, the left has gotten so far along with their social engineering that women are forced to abort after one child because of overpopulation concerns. Why do feminists want more birth control available anyway? To stop women from having babies, especially poor women. That is their answer to poverty - birth control and abortion.
In my mind, it's only a short leap from free birth control to forced birth control. That is the inevitable end result of the ideology of forced compliance. The mindset is the same, it's simply how far along the continuum we've gotten. The more force you accept, the more you become accustomed to force, and the more likely you are to go down that dark path of totalitarianism, where having a baby won't even be a choice anymore.