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Where’s the Corporate Pew? SCOTUS Lets Hobby Lobby Ditch Birth Control Mandate

The Supreme Court ruled this morning that corporations can believe in God. I'm looking for the Scripture that says, "Blessed are the corporations...."

The Supreme Court thus ruled that Hobby Lobby and other pious corporations don't have to follow the law that requires employer health insurance policies to include contraception.

Sarah Stoesz of Planned Parenthood wrote in March that contraception isn't a religious issue; it's basic health care:

Since birth control became legal and widely available, women’s health has improved dramatically; the infant death rate has plummeted; and women have been able to invest in their education and careers. Not to mention that increasing access to birth control significantly reduces unintended pregnancy, which in turn reduces the abortion rate [Sarah Stoesz, "Birth Control Is Not a Religious Issue; It Is a Basic Health-Care Issue," MinnPost, 2014.03.25].

Stoesz saw coming this dire precedent: allow corporations to refuse to pay for emergency contraceptives and birth control pills because of their religious objections, and you open the door for corporations who practice Christian Science to refuse to pay for insurance for chemotherapy or antibiotics, for Jehovite corporations to refuse to cover blood transfusions (and maybe even provide legal cover for Jehovites to reassert their opposition to vaccines), and for some fundamentalist corporations to decline to cover any medical treatment other than prayer.

All of this assumes, of course, that a corporation, a legal fiction, a paper construct, can hold religious beliefs, an absurd position, insulting to every religion, that our Supreme Court has now posited as true.


  1. Nick Nemec 2014.06.30

    This ruling truly does open the lid to Pandora's Box. What other things might a corporation object to on the grounds of religion? Clever lawyers and shifty corporations will be testing the limits of this ruling for years.

  2. mikeyc, that's me! 2014.06.30

    Aw, come on, Cory.
    After all, corporations are people too.

  3. mike from iowa 2014.06.30

    and this 5-4 activist wingnut court decision surprised no one who has watched this pro-korporation,anti-worker's rights bunch in action before.

  4. Rocky Racoon 2014.06.30

    Since the bible was written for the sole purpose of keeping the lower classes low, this should open a whole new world of exploitation for corporations to explore.

  5. mike from iowa 2014.06.30

    forgot anti-women's rights,too.

  6. Jessie 2014.06.30

    The ruling specifically denied that it set precedent for coverage of blood transfusions, according to CNN.

    How many closely held corporations does this affect? Other corporations cannot use this ruling to just do whatever their board of directors pleases.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.06.30

    CNN is talking about this ruling. Right now, the precedent has not been set. However, this ruling opens the door for other corporations to file lawsuits revolving around other health care issues that they claim violate their corporate religion.

    By the way, a federal district court judge ruled last week that parents do not have a right to a religious exemption from school vaccination requirements. How does that square with today's Hobby Lobby ruling?

  8. Nick Nemec 2014.06.30

    Over the years I've known several people who received porcine heart valves. Would that life saving surgery be denied to them by a Jewish, Islamic, or Hindu corporation?

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.30

    John Thune agrees with the SCOTUS decision to put corporations above women's health.

  10. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.06.30


  11. mike from iowa 2014.06.30

    I'll second that,Deb.

  12. bearcreekbat 2014.06.30

    On the vaccination question, Alito claims that this decision does not affect the analysis. Opinion at 46. This seem disingenuous, however, since there are less restrictive options than requiring vaccinations to prevent the spread of disease, and the least restrictive option argument is what Alito claims the case is all about. For example, a parent who objects to vaccinations could simply home school and isolate the child, and that suggests that the vaccination requirement violates that parent's religious freedom.

  13. Chris 2014.06.30

    Come on, Hobby Lobby will still cover birth control for its employees, it just won't cover the day after abortion pill as they believe conception is the beginning of life. I know this is a far left web site but who ever is in charge should at least be accurate and adult like.

  14. Joan Brown 2014.06.30

    The day after pill doesn't create abortions, it stops pregnancy from taking place. Conception isn't the beginning of life. One of the things I have heard about the day after pill is that it stops the sperm from reaching the egg. That being said, at the stage that most abortions are performed there is only a tiny cluster of cells that basically amounts to a parasite feeding off a woman.

  15. Jerry 2014.06.30

    Judge Ginsburg says that she fears the court just stepped into a minefield, I call it a steaming pile of Green, what a stench. The men on the court just proved beyond a doubt what most republican men think, in that women are not even second class citizens that should not be allowed to vote.

  16. mike from iowa 2014.06.30

    Yeah,Chris. Smartin up.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2014.06.30

    Quote of the day:

    So let me get this straight: Corporations aren't just people, they're ill-informed people, whose factually incorrect beliefs must be upheld because they sincerely believe them anyway". Jon Stewart

  18. grainofsalt 2014.06.30

    Yes, Jon Stewart, corporations are now people. Ill informed bullies who have the full force of the Supreme Court behind them to impose their "religious beliefs" on flesh and blood people who don't necessarily share those beliefs. Ya hafta admit, who would have thought 30 years ago, that the SCOTUS would have ruled a corporation to have a soul.

  19. Flipper 2014.06.30

    Apparently, the Hobby Lobby folks are okay with their male employees getting a vasectomy and their insurance will cover it. Sounds like they only have a problem when the women are birth-controllin'.

  20. JeniW 2014.07.01

    Does Hobby Lobby's insurance cover women getting their "tubes tied" (cut,) or partial hysterectomy?

  21. Darrell Reifenrath 2014.07.01

    Did anyone pick up on the hypocrisy of Hobby Lobby? Their stores are filled with cheap silly trinkets almost all made in China, probably by women working at starvation wages and forced to have abortions if they conceive a second child.

  22. charlie5150 2014.07.01

    Yup, you folks missed the point again. Hobby Lobby folks are seriously committed. They have deeply held "beliefs". How dare you question that?

  23. Bill Dithmer 2014.07.01

    Really Deb, such language from a minister.

    The Blindman

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.01

    There you go again, Darrell, thinking globally.

  25. Joan Brown 2014.07.01

    About 40 years ago Catholic operated hospitals wouldn't permit doctors to admit patients if the performed vasectomies in their office, so I'm sure tubals were weren't performed in those hospitals at that time. Things might have changed by now.

  26. Darrell Reifenrath 2014.07.01

    Sorry about that Cory.

  27. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.01

    Jerry, there isn't a rock low enough for Neinstadt to crawl under. He's been obstructing the investigation before it even got fully underway. Sleeze.

Comments are closed.