MSNBC considers the future under the shadow of Hobby Lobby.
Laura Grieneisen and Liz Miller have a lot in common. Both are graduate students in biology at the University of Notre Dame, where they share an office, a lab, and a research focus. Their work on bacteria in baboons takes them to Kenya for months on end.
Each wants to prevent pregnancy. Each was told by her doctor that her long stretches in the field would make her an excellent candidate for an intrauterine device, or the IUD.
That’s where their paths diverged.
Grieneisen was able to stay on her parents’ plan under the Affordable Care Act through age 26, so she got her IUD at no extra charge, just before turning 27 in July.
But Miller is 29, and gets her health care through the university. Her on-campus doctor was barred from even prescribing the IUD, she said, because of Notre Dame’s adherence to Catholic teaching against contraception.
The doctor sent her off-campus for the prescription, but even then, Notre Dame’s insurance wouldn’t cover it.
Because the Vatican.
Talk about a non-argument. That makes “I’m offended” look downright Socratic.
The accommodation should have taken care of that; Notre Dame should have signed the opt-out so that the insurer will cover the cost. But nooooooo.
…that accommodation hasn’t satisfied Notre Dame – or over 100 other nonprofit institutions suing the administration. They claim that signing the opt-out form also violates their religious liberty, because eventually, contraception is dispensed.
On July 3, a majority of Supreme Court justices apparently took that argument seriously, telling evangelical Wheaton College, one of the plaintiffs suing the government, that it didn’t have to sign the disputed opt-out form while the lawsuit proceeded. That infuriated the female justices, who pointed out that days earlier, in the Hobby Lobby decision, the majority had called that accommodation “a system that seeks to respect the religious liberty of religious nonprofit corporations while ensuring that the employees of these entities have precisely the same access to all FDA-approved contraceptives as employees of companies whose owners have no religious objections to providing such coverage.”
It’s almost as if the majority simply lied in the ruling, isn’t it.
Both Miller and Grieneisen chose Notre Dame to conduct advanced research with world class professors in their field. But the fight over birth control has disillusioned them, and they’ve begun warning prospective students about the lack of contraceptive coverage.
It’s almost as if Notre Dame wants to drive all the women away, isn’t it.
Medical students at Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins wrote an editorial in the Baltimore Sun in support of contraceptive coverage.
“We strongly disagree with any employer — religious or otherwise — that would refuse to provide full insurance coverage, including contraception, for its employees,” the authors, including Washington, wrote. “As physicians in training, we see contraception as an essential component of effective primary care, not as a political line item in Washington or the Vatican.”
That’s well said.