Ready for it?
I’ve poured through mounds of research, read pages and pages of court precedent; I’ve reflected on it, meditated, retreated into the mountains to ponder this mystery in peace; I’ve even Googled it, and all of these measures have brought me to one incredible solution for women who want birth control:
Pay for it yourselves.
Or find an employer that chooses to provide it.
Or have sex and don’t use it.
Or don’t have sex.
Basically, take responsibility for your sex life, one way or another.
There you go. I’ve solved this dilemma. You’re welcome.
I only bring this up because the Hobby Lobby challenge to Barack’s Birth Control Mandate has finally reached the supreme court.
If you aren’t familiar, Hobby Lobby — a store known for its picture frames, fake indoor plants, and dangerous religious extremism — has refused to comply with the president’s decree that all employers must provide whatever kind of “health coverage” he personally feels we all should be using.
The store already subsidizes several forms of birth control, but wishes not to purchase things like morning after pills and IUDs. The government has responded to their concerns by making three basic points:
1) Hobby Lobby is not a religious organization.
2) Emergency contraception is not abortion.
3) Lots of women use contraception.
To which all rational and reasonable adults respond with three counter arguments:
1) That’s irrelevant.
2) That’s irrelevant.
3) Oh, good point. Actually, just kidding, that’s irrelevant.
Unfortunately, it might be necessary to offer a more detailed retort.
1) It doesn’t matter if Hobby Lobby is a religious organization. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it stipulate that only religious organizations are afforded religious protections. This argument is like something out of a 20th century dystopian science fiction novel.
We have the right to live by our convictions, but only if we are officially employed by some group that the government defines as “religious”? Religious freedom, but the government gets to decide what constitutes “religious”? By that logic, only priests count as “being Catholic,” and only rabbis really get to be Jewish.
What an impossibly ridiculous argument. Besides, where is it written that only “religious people” might prefer to forgo purchasing some forms, or all forms, of birth control? Other kinds of people might have other kinds of objections. In the end, it doesn’t matter. They own the business. They purchase the plans. They make the decision.
This is exceedingly clear to anyone with their brain fully engaged, but sadly, the sheep will follow the pigs on the Animal Farm, because they’re too dumb or too selfish or too apathetic to realize that this sort of tyranny will eventually come back around and destroy them.
2) For the purposes of this debate, it doesn’t matter if morning after pills are or are not abortifacients. Hobby Lobby has an objection to them. Their reasons are of no consequence at all. Since when do we have free speech, but only if the government agrees with our motivations and conclusions?
3) When debating the merits of the government forcing employers to provide birth control, my favorite pro-argument is the one where the Apologist for Oppression breathlessly insists, “almost all women [insert arbitrary, fabricated percentage] use birth control!”
Even if this is true, the Apologist seems to be making two startling and contradictory assumptions: First, that our liberties are dependent upon the whims of the popular majority. Second, that “almost all women” use contraception, yet there’s still a crisis of women not being able to afford contraception.
Truly, only a modern leftwing progressive can get away with asserting their right to a particular good or service by simultaneously arguing that everybody uses it and nobody uses it.
Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
They’re right, of course — birth control is popular. It’s popular because it helps you have less babies, and we all know that babies are a disease (which is why the morning after pill is called “preventative medication”) and a punishment (according to the president, anyway).
Bacon is almost as popular as birth control, but I still don’t think Muslim employers should be forced to stock the vending machines with bacon Hot Pockets.
But what if the employees really WANT bacon Hot Pockets, you ask? Well, I don’t blame them. Still, this one philosophical and constitutional reality remains (I will write in all caps, just to make sure that the tl:dr skimmers see it):
YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO A PRODUCT THAT MUST BE PROVIDED TO YOU THROUGH GOVERNMENTAL COERCION OF A THIRD PARTY.
At least, that’s how it used to be.
But something strange has recently occurred. I’m sure you’ve noticed it.
A tectonic shift. A philosophical transformation. An evolution. A devolution. A reconstruction. A collapse.
The very point and purpose of our nation has gone from something solid, real, and formidable, to something shallow, fluid, and absurd.
We used to be a country devoted to protecting and ensuring the rights of its citizens. Our rights were those innate human qualities and capacities, endowed by a Creator God, infused into the human spirit, needing only to be expressed, not provided by any manmade authority.
Now we are a country devoted to fabricating and engineering the rights of its citizens. And now our rights are those modern human desires and preferences, developed by cultural trends, promoted by political agitators, needing to be provided by unwilling third parties through governmental coercion and force.
It used to be that your rights were infringed upon if the government punished or threatened you for expressing your sincerest beliefs.
Now, your rights are infringed upon if you want something but someone refuses to buy it for you.
It used to be that the vision of tyranny was a man or woman bound, gagged, and shoved in a cage for speaking his or her mind.
Now, tyranny is the tragic image of man or woman forced to spend their own money on something because nobody would give it to them for free.
We used to fight and die for free speech.
Now we sit around and whine for free birth control.
Times have changed, in other words. And not for the better.
But I’m extrapolating unnecessarily on something that I rather sufficiently covered in the first few sentences of this post.
Forget the Constitution (most of us already have), forget these high falutin’ philosophical concepts, forget the Supreme Court and Hobby Lobby, this all really boils down to one basic and immutable fact:
Adults must take responsibility for their sex lives. Adults, in fact, must take responsibility for their lives, in general.
If you want birth control, spend the 15 bucks a month and buy it yourself (hint: that’s about an 1/8 of your monthly cell phone bill, also a fraction of your cable bill, a fraction of what you spend on smoothies and Starbucks coffee, a fraction of your entertainment budget, a fraction of your alcohol expenditures and a fraction of what you spent on your TV, your clothes, your computer, and your iPhone). Or find a job that will provide it. Or don’t have sex. Or have sex and don’t use it.
Want the government out of your sex life? Stop asking them to subsidize it. Stop asking them to force employers to subsidize it. Stop making your sex habits into a public issue.
The tyranny of the Pigs on the Animal Farm might work in your favor for now, but eventually you’ll wish to claim for yourself those rights which you asked them to steal from others. And by then, it will be too late. God help you.
And, seriously, in case I forgot to mention it: pay for your own birth control.
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Update: despite closing this post with “the end,” I feel the urge to offer a few responses to the most frequent(ly off base) responses from Nanny State Proponents.
Response: “Well, what if a Scientologist/Jehovah’s Witness/Whoever doesn’t want to provide health insurance that covers antibiotics, due to their religious beliefs?”
Answer: Then that is their right. See, you can’t back me into a corner with this liberty thing. I’m not afraid to take my convictions to whatever extreme and unlikely conclusion you can conjure.
Now, it’s certainly ludicrous to compare contraceptives and Morning After Pills to antibiotics, but go right ahead. The basis of my argument is NOT my own personal views on birth control. My basis is liberty, the constitution, and personal responsibility. If you choose to work for a Scientologist, you agree to play by the Scientologist’s rules, or else make other arrangements.
Pro tip: review a company’s health coverage package BEFORE YOU TAKE THE JOB. Don’t like it? Doesn’t work for you? GET A DIFFERENT JOB. Or resign yourself to obtaining your medication through some other avenue.
Simple, isn’t it?
Response: “But lots of women use birth control for medical reasons that extend beyond preventing pregnancy.”
Answer: Yes, some do. There’s absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of birth control users are using it to prevent pregnancy, but some women do, in fact, take them for difference reasons.
On the other side of that equation, it’s also true that many of these medical issues — hormonal imbalances, acne, etc — can be, and often should be, addressed in other ways. But what about the medical maladies that absolutely cannot be treated through ANY other means, aside from birth control? Well, now we’ve whittled the percentage down even further.
It simply isn’t prudent or just or fair to pass across-the-board laws for the sake of such a small minority. And it isn’t honest to pretend that the birth control mandate is primarily meant to address these cases.
In a land of freedom, women who need birth control for non-birth control reasons would inspect their employer’s health plan before taking the job. If it doesn’t cover their needs, they’d work some place else. If the need arises while already employed at a place that doesn’t offer a plan to cover it, they’d look into other ways to obtain the medicine, or else they’d look into other places to work. I’m not saying that’s an easy solution, but I can’t give you an easy solution to the hard cases. That’s the thing about living in a free country: the government won’t, shouldn’t, and can’t find a quick fix for every problem its citizens might face.
If given the freedom to do so, employers who object to birth control, but not to non-pregnancy prevention uses of birth control, could easily find another way around the problem. They could, for instance, require a diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with a condition of which birth control is the only treatment, then it’s covered. If not, it isn’t. Again, none of this is terribly relevant because, as BC Mandate proponents always tell us, the huge majority of women are allegedly already using birth control. This seems to suggest that “access to birth control” isn’t the national crisis they purport it to be.
Besides, getting back to the current event that sparked this post, Hobby Lobby already covers the kinds of birth control that might be used for medical purposes. That seems to be a point that’s been lost in almost all of the reporting on this case.
Response: “But what about Viagra?”
Answer: Uh, what about it? I don’t think the government should force employers to cover those things, either. Of course, there is a fundamental difference between Viagra and birth control. Namely, Viagra is generally used to make a dysfunctional thing functional, whereas birth control is generally used to make a functional thing (fertility) dysfunctional.
Still, I’m certainly not advocating that the government force any employer to provide Viagra to anyone. As far as I know, there isn’t a Viagra Mandate, so this is a moot point.
The fact that some employers might choose to cover Viagra while not covering some birth control methods is completely irrelevant. Stop insisting that the government swoop in and make everything “fair” and “even.” The government isn’t a Force of Fairness. It can’t be. It isn’t. It never will be. It shouldn’t be.
Read a history book sometime and then come back and tell me what a great job governments do when they try to make things “fair.”
UPDATE: I won’t stop until this post is a one-stop shop for every reason the Nanny Staters are wrong about the Birth Control Mandate. That said, here’s another common response.
Response: “My employer doesn’t have the right to come in between me and my doctor!”
Answer: Agreed. But no employer is trying to stop its employees from using birth control. The issue is about employers not wanting you to get birth control THROUGH THEM. Uninvolved in your sex life? Yes, that’s precisely what they would be. They aren’t interfering with your reproductive choices. You are free to do whatever you want to do. You just aren’t free to force others to subsidize it.
Hobby Lobby isn’t forcing its workers to abstain from MAPs and IUDs. They are merely declining to cover it. That’s all. Someone declining to give you something is NOT the same thing as them removing your right to obtain it. If I refuse to buy you lunch, am I taking away your ability to eat?
By this logic, I guess I am.
In which case — considering that I haven’t bought lunch for a huge majority of the nation — I am hereby responsible when all of you starve to death.
My apologies, ladies and gentlemen. May you all rest in peace.
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