Hobby Lobby Contraception Case: Briefs Reveal What the Religious Right Really Thinks of Birth Control.
And so, as the AFLC argues, contraceptives of all kinds aren’t medical or related to health care at all. They are “procedures involving gravely immoral practices.” Protected sex demeans women by making men disrespect them. (Just as Pope Paul VI did decades ago, the AFLC presents this as true inside marriage as well as out.) By separating sex from childbearing, birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage, for the economic difficulties of single motherhood, and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives. Birth control is the original sin of modernity. Its widespread availability changed everything, for the worse.
Birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives.”
If it sounds like I’m describing a 1960s enraged sermon about the pill, I guess that’s the point: I could be. The Hobby Lobby case has given the groups that want to go back to prepill days a chance to air their nostalgia. And they want the Supreme Court to know that all women don’t share the view that controlling one’s body, with regard to the deep, life-altering question of when to be pregnant, is helpful and freeing. There are plenty of women who don’t “value free abortion drugs above public goods such as religious freedom and limited government,” as the brief from conservative women’s groups, including Concerned Women for America and the Susan B. Anthony List, puts it. And they are on the straight-and-narrow conservative path to sanctified motherhood. “It is demeaning to women to suggest that women’s fertility and the bearing and rearing of children are ‘barriers,’ ” the group Women Speak for Themselves argues. “Most women aspire to and do bear and rear children.”
Most women who have abortions bear and rear children, too, actually. And it goes without saying that women who have used birth control have kids, too, since “women who use contraceptives” means practically every woman in the country. And yet there are still people willing to say that “well-woman preventive care visits” are about minimizing “the risk and consequence of a sexually licentious lifestyle,” as yet another brief insists.