I spent a couple hours reading up on the SCOTUS ruling. It was ridiculously complicated reading! To spare others the same time-sink, here’s what I learned in a nutshell.
1. Other for-profit companies are suing to avoid having to pay for insurance for contraception of any kind, and the Supreme Court is looking like it might find in favor of the companies. Why? Because the Supreme Court decided to review three cases in which the for-profit companies lost, but refused to hear three cases in which they won. More details here:
2. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court may also rule that an alternative currently available to women is unconstitutional. Part of the reasoning in the Hobby Lobby decision is that there was a less restrictive means for the government to ensure women have free birth control. They cited two examples: one, the government could pay for the four forms of contraception; or two, the government could use an existing accommodation that lets employees have birth control without employers have to pay for it. However, they have signaled that they might reconsider by issuing an injunction so a company wouldn’t use that means.
More details here:
All very concerning. If all this goes through, could insurance companies also be exempted from having to pay for contraception? Could doctors be exempted from having to provide it? Could pharmacies be exempted from having to prescribe it?
I don’t think insurance companies WANT to be exempted from providing birth control. From their perspective (in a Mister Crabs voice: “Money!”) it makes way more sense to provide inexpensive birth control than to pay for expensive childbirth and pre- and post-natal care. What is especially galling about the secondary Wheaton College case is that the college didn’t want to file the paperwork that says, “we won’t pay for this because it’s against our principles”, because if they DID, then insurance companies would pay for it. And to their tiny little minds, that would mean that they (the college) had been complicit in providing birth control, when what they really want is that women don’t HAVE any birth control so they won’t have sex unless they run the risk of having children. Because, I guess, sex for fun is a bad thing. Somehow.
The upshot is that SCOTUS has said that not only do companies not have to provide this stuff, they can actively prevent insurers from providing it off their own bat. Because there is exactly zero basis for this decision in the Constitution, it is impossible to read this as anything but misogyny: the Court wants to write misogyny into the law. It’s reprehensible, and in years to come, will be overturned, but until then, we’re stuck with it.