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February 29, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Hobby Lobby opposition to health coverage fueled by sexism, not religious freedom

Confession: I have an IUD.

Basically, a Mirena IUD is an “intrauterine device,” or a hormonal contraceptive implant that sits in my uterus for up to five years.

It’s one of the most reliable methods of birth control and is considered up to 99 percent effective. Due to rising health care costs, the Mirena has gone up in price— up to $800 for it to be inserted. I adore my IUD. It just sits in there and does its job. No pills, patches, or shots. It’s a great fit for my life, and many other young people’s lives.

If my parents or I worked at Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Specialties I wouldn’t have my awesome IUD. Currently, the case is in the Supreme Court and it is considered a landmark case when it comes to “religious freedom” of businesses and the health care plans provided by them.

Hobby Lobby, which has been the focus of the controversy, argues that mandated coverage for birth control for all non-religious, for-profit businesses is taking away their “religious freedom,” because using these drugs goes against their religious beliefs.

At this point, people who are against Hobby Lobby’s arguments will point out that people need birth control coverage for plenty of medical reasons. Birth control is used to treat acne, heavy and painful menstrual periods, PMS relief, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and a host of other issues that people face. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, from 2006-2010, 99 percent of sexually experienced females used at least one contraceptive device.

When I read about the birth control coverage issue, people like to focus on the non-sexual reasons why people need birth control. But you know what? There is nothing wrong with using your birth control to prevent pregnancy while you have sex. It’s not irresponsible. If you are avoiding pregnancy, taking birth control is one of the most responsible things you can do. I’m not ashamed to say that my IUD’s primary function is to prevent pregnancy.

The other argument around “religious freedom” in order for businesses to not cover hormonal birth control methods, including Plan-B [or emergency contraception] is that they are “abortifacients,” meaning that they cause early term spontaneous abortions.

A pill that causes these goes against their religious beliefs, therefore they do not feel obligated to provide coverage for contraception. In reality, there has been plenty of evidence to show that Plan-B and hormonal birth control do not cause spontaneous abortions. This has been recognized by the National Institute of Health and the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, they are opposed to a supposed side effect of a drug with little evidence to support their claim.

So why are the Hobby Lobby owners so vehemently against covering birth control? It’s not about religious freedom. We are all forced to spend money on things we oppose all the time, such as corporate tax breaks, expensive wars and a racist prison industry.

Perhaps I don’t “believe” in Viagra or penis pumps to enhance the sexual health of males. However, I, as a business owner, would still be required to cover these costs, despite my beliefs. It’s about policing the sexuality of women and shaming them for having sex for pleasure outside of marriage.

Truly, when it comes down to it, we are afraid of female sexual pleasure and birth control, because it gives us power and autonomy over our lives.

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