By Shannon Ralph
There have been many articles written about the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. Most have scoffed at the premise that one person’s religion trumps another person’s healthcare decisions. Several have justifiably lamented the ridiculousness of a company—a non-human entity—having its “religious liberties” threatened. Some have warned of the slippery slope this ruling has created. Still others have even posited that this decision may have negative implications for the GOP party in upcoming elections.
While these are all valid points and certainly deserving of a little bit of outrage on our part, few articles I have read really get at the heart of what I think should be the main objections Americans have to the Hobby Lobby ruling.
Below, I have circled all of the Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby.
Do you see any similarities? Any glaring characteristics these justices have in common? Let me give you a hint: It may or may not involve their possession, or lack thereof, of fallopian tubes.
Yep, you guessed it! They are all men.
Not a single one of the five justices who voted in favor of Hobby Lobby would ever be prescribed the birth control devices they decided to deny American women. Not a single one of these justices would suffer the fallout of an unwanted pregnancy. Not a single one will ever know the struggle of being a poor, single mom.
Not a single one of these justices have ever—or likely will ever—have their personal healthcare decisions mandated by a court of their peers.
Five men decided what women across America can and cannot do with their own bodies.
Does this sound right? Fair? Just?
If men got pregnant, I have no doubt whatsoever that contraception would be readily available through every corner ATM. Sports bars would replace their bowls of peanuts with multi-colored birth control pills. Mobile IUD clinics would make certain that every man had access to their God-given right to a free insertion. Super Bowl commercials would hawk the morning-after pill alongside beer and cars.
In short, we would not be having this discussion if men got pregnant. Why? Because men have always historically held dominion over their own bodies. Women? Umm…not so lucky.
In response to the Hobby Lobby ruling, Ruth Bader Ginsberg (who many have come to gleefully refer to as “The Nortorious RBG”) penned a glaringly brilliant 35-page dissent. In it, she quoted the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, where she wrote “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive rights.”
And truer words have never been written. How can women become the movers and shakers who control this nation when our reproductive rights are subject to the impulses and whims of a select few’s supposed (convenient) religious liberties.
When will American women—a gender who makes up 50.8% of the U.S. population—stand up and say enough is enough? When we will stop allowing men to make decisions about our bodies? About our healthcare? When will we demand that we be given sole sovereignty over our own uteri?
If nothing else, this ruling is further proof that we need more women in positions of authority. In corporations. In courtrooms. In healthcare office. We need more female representation at all levels of business and government. We need to embolden women to stand up and be heard. As women (and the men who support us—they do exist, you know), we need to use our majority standing to put women into these positions of authority.
It’s 2014, people. Isn’t it about damn time?
For more by Shannon Ralph, check out her blog, Chronicles of a Clueless Mom