National Politics | Politics

The Supreme Court and uninformed reactions

If you didn’t know any better, you might think that last week, the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed birth control. The average citizen perusing social media and some news websites could easily get this (very wrong) idea from the copious number of inaccurate and inflammatory “news” about the decision that’s out there.

First, just to clarify, the Supreme Court did not decide that women are not allowed to have access to birth control. In fact, the passage of the Affordable Care Act gave women more and easier access to birth control than they’ve probably had in a long time. The act’s mandates generally make it such that employers must provide (aka use insurance companies that will pay for) birth control and emergency contraceptives.

“The Hobby Lobby case,” as it’s come to be known, deals mainly with the latter – emergency contraceptives like the “Plan B” pill and some intrauterine birth control devices. Hobby Lobby and the other companies involved in the case do not want to pay for these drugs (again, not all birth control, just a few kinds that can act as abortifacients) and the Supreme Court agreed – they don’t have to. Employees of Hobby Lobby with insurance will still be able to have some birth control paid for. The ignorance of some people protesting the court’s ruling is just incredible. Some of them truly seem to believe that this ruling means that women in general won’t be able to have access to birth control. News flash: that is not the case. Even though Hobby Lobby now won’t have to pay for several certain drugs, it doesn’t mean that women can’t get them. They just might have to pay for them themselves. Is that really such a terrible thing? In our entitlement-driven society, apparently it is.

We should keep in mind that Obamacare greatly expanded the requirements for women’s’ health care coverage. For instance, all pre-natal and well-baby visits must now be paid for by insurance companies, and insurers also must pay for breast milk pumps, should a working mother want one. These things weren’t covered by all insurance companies before and women everywhere should be grateful that, overall, coverage for women is more complete.

The Supreme Court’s decision, while major in its win for religious liberty, is minor in it’s “undermining” of women’s “right” to birth control. What, really is the worst that can happen now? You might have to buy your own Plan B? No one is stopping you from buying or using the drug, and, remember, this whole decision revolves around the employees of a few companies, not the entire American workforce. Let’s keep things in perspective.

Maria Servold
Maria Servold is the Assistant Director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College, where she teaches journalism and advises the student newspaper. She is a freelance writer for several Michigan publications.