For two and a half years, the Obama Administration has tried to strike a balance between the health needs of workers and the sensibilities of employers who object to contraceptive care on religious grounds. Just last month, the administration announced its most recent accommodation for these religious objectors — an employer can exempt itself completely from the federal rule requiring employer-provided health plans to cover birth control, so long as it informs the government that it seeks a religious exemption and tells them which company administers their health plan.

Yet, according to a court document filed earlier this month by a leading religious conservative litigation shop, even this degree of accommodation is insufficient to satisfy the most vehement objectors to birth control. Indeed, if the courts ultimately accept the arguments presented by this court filing, that would leave the administration largely powerless to ensure that workers whose employers object to birth control still receive contraceptive coverage. The alleged rights of the employer would trump the rights of the employee.

The court filing is a motion filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — the same Becket Fund that represented Hobby Lobby in its successful lawsuit in the Supreme Court — on behalf of Ave Maria University, a conservative Catholic school which claims that “any action ‘specifically intended to prevent procreation’ — including contraception and sterilization — is morally wrong.” In its motion, Becket asks a federal court in Florida to grant Ave Maria a temporary exemption from the federal rules governing birth control coverage while its litigation against the government proceeds.

What’s unusual about this motion, however, is that it specifically denies that the Obama Administration’s latest accommodation for religious objectors is sufficient. “Rather than simply requiring notice that Ave Maria is a religious nonprofit with a religious objection,” the motion complains, “the augmented rule would require Ave Marie [sic] to provide its insurance company’s name and contact information for the specific purpose of allowing HHS to issue a notice requiring the insurer to provide the exact same items through Ave Maria’s healthcare plan as if Ave Maria had given the insurer Form 700 directly.”

To translate this a bit, “Form 700″ is the form religious objectors were required to submit under a previous attempt to accommodate their sentiments regarding birth control. Under that regime, employers who object to birth control on religious grounds could exempt themselves from providing contraceptive coverage by filling out this short form, which required them to disclose the identity of their insurance administrator. Once the government has this form in hand, they would then contact this insurance company and arrange for it to provide contraceptive coverage to the religious objector’s employees without requiring the objector to provide this coverage itself. Notably, the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hobby Lobby strongly suggests that the just-fill-out-this-form accommodation is sufficient to overcome any legal objections to the overall regime for providing birth control to employees.

Nevertheless, several religious employers objected to the fill-out-the-form solution, so the Obama Administration granted them a further accommodation — permitting them to exempt themselves from the birth control rules without having to fill out any particular form at all, so long as the government learns who their insurance administrator is. Without this information, the government has no way of knowing which insurance company should provide contraceptive coverage to employees who are denied this coverage by their employer, and thus the entire system breaks down.

Ave Maria’s objection is not exactly surprising, as we explained shortly after the Obama Administration announced its latest accommodation, “employers who have raised the staunchest objections to birth control have often claimed that they cannot take any action that will set in motion a chain of events that leads to someone receiving contraception, as doing so would make them ‘complicit’ in the act of providing birth control,” but their objection is nonetheless significant because it reveals what the stakes actually are in the follow-up cases to Hobby Lobby. If the justices honor Ave Maria’s idiosyncratic objection, then it is unclear that the administration could design any accommodation that will survive contact with the Supreme Court.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

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'I Think She Was A She' Proudly Proclaims There's No Shame In Having An Abortion

In the slam poem “I Think She Was A She,” spoken word poet and performance artist Leyla Josephine recounts the abortion she had as a teenager and the cultural shame she’s been constantly confronted with ever since.

Be brought to tears when you watch Leyla recite the full moving poem here. 

To those who are commenting that the above graphic does not address cases of rape, you are right, it does not. It was never intended to ignore the severity of rape but to present an idea that chastity is an option for those engaging in willing sexual intercourse.

To those commenting on this post and saying that the birth control pill is also a solution for cramps, acne, and other issues, there are alternatives out there that do not involve screwing up your body’s natural hormones. If you look into NaPro technology, or ask your doctor, more and more women are finding healthier and natural choices. 1Flesh.org for example, has great information.

Oral contraceptives, which are potentially abortifacient, provide only symptomatic treatment when prescribed for women’s health problems, and they do not affect the underlying causes. The birth control pill is used to “treat” menstrual cramps, recurrent ovarian cysts, abnormal bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, acne, irregular cycles, and endometriosis.”  The Pope Paul VI Institute is just one of those centres that is offering NEW solutions. Find out more about NaProTechnology.

To those commenting that it’s their body, to be used as they choose, you’re right. It IS your body and it’s your choice but if you want to understand a bit of why I would never recommend contraception or sex outside of marriage, then I invite you to read this post or read some of my previous posts tagged contraception.

Or you could visit The Radiance Foundation's website to read more!

anonymous said:

How do you feel about Hobby Lobby denying their employees the right to buy birth control? Their reasoning is opposing it on religious grounds even though birth control is used for more than just preventing pregnancy.

Hey, there’s a lot of misinformation going around. Here’s a few facts that often get missed. 

1) Hobby Lobby is ok with paying for 16 out of the 20 required types of birth control under Obamacare. 

2) They have a religious objection to 4 of them, specifically the morning-after pills. The types that stop a baby from surviving after conception. Abortion inducing drugs. The birth control they are talking about isn’t used for anything except preventing pregnancy after conception.

3) They aren’t denying their employees the right to buy birth control. They can buy those 4 drugs themselves if they wish. They pay their employees well, and they have stated again and again that they aren’t trying to control anyone’s decisions. In fact, this whole discussion is about the right to make decisions, and whether or not you can force someone to pay for something they have a religious objection to. 

Here’s a nice video of a spokeslady that blinks a lot. She does a nice job of explaining it. 

Five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers. That women can be denied a benefit that they already pay for and is guaranteed by federal law. That contraception is not essential healthcare. That corporations can pray. That the corporate veil can be manipulated to suit the needs of the corporation. That bosses can cynically choose à la carte what laws they want to comply with and which laws they do not. Each specific finding opens a door to a new form of discrimination and unprecedented corporate power. If you think this ruling won’t affect you, you haven’t been paying attention.
4

Some Republican politicians are throwing their support behind over-the-counter birth control, though only if it comes with a bunch of concessions (like eliminating Plan B, Obamacare, etc).

Ana Kasparian talks about why that’s still not a fix-it for the GOP. Birth control availability is imperative, but it shouldn’t mean sacrificing comprehensive health care so that women can also regularly consult with doctors and stay safe and healthy. 

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