I’ll admit – I was initially a little out of sorts when the SCOTUS decision on the Hobby Lobby birth control came out yesterday. I had seen some posts from feminist friends sharing their distaste for the ruling but I wasn’t too clear about what exactly happened. After some digging, I realized what the ruling meant and promptly got extremely anxious and thoroughly disappointed.
Bitch Magazine has a piece about the issue that pretty accurately reflects my views on the issue and included part of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent on the ruling, saying that “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s entire 35 page dissent on the ruling can be found here. I haven’t read it yet but The Raw Story has a piece that has some quotes from the dissent and discusses what was written in it.
I fully believe in religious freedom and that’s the key – freedom. I believe that every single person has the right to practice their religion however they see fit. As long as you are not causing harm to others, I fully believe that you have the right and freedom to your religion and beliefs.
But as soon as your beliefs start to significantly impact other people, that’s where I draw the line. Your religious beliefs should not dictate another person’s bodily autonomy and people have the right to use and not use birth control for whatever reasons they have. If you don’t use birth control for religious reasons, great. You made that decision for yourself with personal factors that contribute to your life. If you use birth control to help prevent pregnancy or to help alleviate cramps or literally any other reason, I fully support that.
I fully believe in people being able to make their own decisions about their lives (within reason) and having access and resources to carry out those decisions. Corporations should not have control and power over individuals and yet they do. I’m frustrated that people aren’t able to understand that religious freedom not only means being able to freely practice their religion but that it also means being free from religion. I’m mad that cis white men are continuously taking away rights from others in a plethora of ways and I’m mad that a huge corporation has the ability to limit reproductive rights and bodily autonomy.
I’m angry that there isn’t great sex education within the United States because I fully believe you can be abstinent but know what a fucking clitoris is. Saving sex until marriage doesn’t eliminate the fact that you can at least know the ways in which STDs/STIs are spread. Not using contraceptives at all doesn’t mean you can’t know what a condom is/how to put it on and what exactly birth control is.
People should NOT be shamed for making the best decision for them and should be given access to things like birth control, abortions, and a living wage. People should NOT be harassed and shamed for making decisions that are best for them, meaning that despite the SCOTUS ruling, there should be buffer zones around abortion clinics. There is a difference between freedom of speech and harassment/threats and people should feel safe for whatever decisions they make about their own bodies. (Side note: other than making someone feel incredibly awful about their entire existence, what do you gain as a person for protesting in front of abortion clinics?! You look like a douchebag.)
This turned into a much longer rant than I initially intended and more and more things keep coming up with this topic. But basically, I believe that religious liberty should never trump body autonomy and that people should make the best decisions for themselves and have access to resources to make those decisions.
Anyway, those are my two cents on the issue.