Madison residents picket their local Hobby Lobby on July 5th. Photo by Light Brigading (Creative Commons).
Well, that didn’t take long.
Within days of their ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court’s conservatives disproved their own argument about that decision’s “narrowness.” In 72 hours, the hairline cracks left by the Supreme Court ruling exploded open.
I remember a simpler time when shopping at a craft store was not a political act. In those hazy golden days of about three years ago, I could simply waltz into a Hobby Lobby, purchase some fabric glue and sequins and not feel like I’d just turned my dollars over to a right-wing cause.
This week, the executives of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are at the Supreme Court backing a lawsuit that could gut the new federal requirement that companies’ provide insurance coverage for birth control.
Intrepid artist Erika Moen explores a different aspect of sex each week in her comic Oh Joy Sex Toy. This week, Moen illustrates her experiences with her favorite form of birth control: the copper IUD.
At times, it can seem like the best way to get good treatment from the government is to be a corporation. Since corporations are people and have free speech thanks to the Citizens United decision, do they have any other rights normally afforded to human citizens? Depending on what the Supreme Court decides in coming months, corporations may have the right to decide their employees’ birth control choices.
The Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health is pushing primary care doctors to ask every woman one extra question when they see her for a regular checkup: "Do you want to become pregnant in the next year?"
Birth control has been a lightning rod in the debate over the Affordable Care Act. There's been a lot ofmediacoverage of how Obamacare will cover birth control. But if you're still confused on how the healthcare law will actually affect your birth control options, I'm not surprised. There has been so much hubbub around lawsuits and complaints that it's hard to figure out from the headlines what the law actually says. That's why I did some research to break through the BS and lay out the details of how Obamacare will actually affect birth control coverage.
Historically, the birth control pill is revolutionary. Today, it's nearly mundane. In the 50 years since its approval, the Pill has radically changed contraception, placing it directly in the hands of women, changing the way they plan their lives, the way conduct their relationships, and—of course—the way they have sex; in 1993, The Economist named the Pill one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World." Now, it's part of the everyday lives of 10.5 million American women.
That's not to say that the birth control pill is not beyond reproach.
The news on reproductive rights this year has not been good. Texas is shutting down health clinics, Ohio is forcing women to get an ultrasound before they get an abortion, Oklahoma is trying to restrict teens from buying Plan B over the counter—the country's reproductive options are generally going to hell in a Republican handbasket.
But there's one area of reproductive health that has been quietly and steadily improving for years: reducing teen pregnancies. During the last years of the Bush administration, the teen birth rate rose for the first time since 1992. But from 2007-2011 (the four most recent years the experts crunched the numbers), the trend swiftly reversed and the teen birth rate nationwide dropped a whopping 25 percent.
The reasons behind the drop are much more complex than just statistics on birth control use and funding for sex education—looking only at the dollars and data ignores the fact that we all learn about sex from the culture around us.