Hobby Lobby David vs. Empowered Women Goliaths
Following the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of the religious liberty of the owners of Hobby Lobby, there’s been a lot of handwringing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth over a mythical war on women that warrants a closer look.
Sandra Fluke has a right to eat. Her right to eat is even more fundamental than her right to contracept. She actually must eat. Does her employer have an ethical or Constitutional obligation to pay directly for her food? And does her employer have an obligation to pay directly for whatever food she chooses to eat—even if that food is expensive and lethal?
This may shock those who believe that it takes a village to raise a child and to subsidize the frisky sexcapades of adult women, but Fluke’s employer has an ethical obligation only to pay her for services rendered. Fluke works; her employer compensates her with a paycheck. With her money, Fluke can make discretionary spending choices. If she can’t afford her first choice of contraceptive methods, she has several options:
- She can cancel her Netflix or HBO subscription in order to pay for her contraceptives.
- She can choose a less expensive contraceptive method (like condoms, which no one gets subsidized).
- She can try to compel her sexual partner to subsidize that for which she is trying to compel her employer to pay.
- Or (horror of horrors), she can forgo sex until such time as she can afford her contraceptive method of choice.
When did the right to access contraception transmogrify into the right to compel others to pay for it? Since when is it a “right” to compel a closely held company (or the government for that matter) to pay for one’s birth control?
The “empowered” Sandra Flukes of the world get the vapors at the mere thought of having to pay for the costs of their own volitional sexual activity. Apparently, empowerment to them means having the power to compel others to pay for what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms out of which they want people to stay.
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