The left is up in arms over the Supreme Court’s decision that allows Christian-owned businesses to opt out of Obamacare’s requirement that they provide free contraception–including possible abortifacients like IUDs and the Morning After Pill–as part of all health insurance plans.
The court applied the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to for-profit companies. So it’s saying that corporations can have a religion! How can that be?
Well, corporations don’t have a religion, but the owners can have one. The owner of a business does things by means of that business. The owner of a construction company builds houses. The owner can use that company to support causes he or she believes in. A pro-life owner who buys contraception and abortion coverage for his or her employees is complicit in what they do.
The ruling only applies to individually or family-held companies, not to corporations collectively owned by stockholders. Opponents of the ruling are not making this distinction.
So now corporations can claim a religious reason for getting out of all kinds of other laws, say the critics. Well, they would have to make a case. So Jehovah Witness-owned businesses could refuse to pay for blood transfusions? And Christian Scientists could refuse to pay for health insurance altogether? I myself would say, “yes.” Good luck to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Scientists in getting employees to work with them. They should also have the right to hire their co-religionists, who thus would not have any trouble with those policies. (The court, though, said explicitly that this ruling would not apply to discrimination cases.)
For other reaction to the ruling:
Constitutional law expert Eugene Volokh discusses the ruling in depth, with extensive quotations from the ruling, as well as the dissents, in Hobby Lobby wins before the Supreme Court – The Washington Post.
Feminist activist Sandra Fluke says the Supreme Court ruling is another example of the war on women.
The Huffington Post says this is what happens when you have six Catholics on the Supreme Court.