CCD on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
The California College Democrats comment on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby SCOTUS decision.
This week the U.S. Supreme Court sided yet again with corporations over people in a controversial 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby; the court ruled that corporations can opt out of providing women with birth control medications on grounds of religiosity. As such, the court has decided that corporations are not only “people” but they are also “religious persons” who can dictate whether or not woman can reproduce.
I for one am left without words for how much this decision has caused us to regress on the progressive advances that we have made in advocating for women to have the right to do with their bodies as they see fit. The Roberts-led judicial body has essentially decreed that corporations know best when it comes to what kinds of medical care women should have access to. In addition to undermining the most basic of human rights that not just women, but that all peoples should have the right to make their own personal decisions, the ruling allows for an uncalled for usage of religion as a backstop against a woman’s right to be able to access important birth control medication.
It is no secret that the schools of religion and science have been at each other’s throats for centuries at a time now. From the catholic church shunning Galileo’s work in observational astronomy in the during the scientific revolution, to the banning of the teaching of evolution in primary schools in the 20th century, scientific thought and religious dogma has been at odds with one another over reasons stemming from morality to rational thinking. The recent ruling is sure to further promulgate the debate over which of the two schools holds the “higher” moral ground.
What is truly disheartening about this ruling is that aside from corporations scoring another unjustifiable victory is what is looking more and more like oligarchical politics in this country, both religion and science could be set to be on the receiving end of undue blame over the ruling. Unfortunate as this is, we must endeavor to not lose sight over who the true culprit is behind this most recent affront against common sense: bloated corporate influence. There is progressive legislation on the floor in states all over the country, coast to coast, from here in California to the green mountain state that is aiming to subvert the specter that is big corporate interests. It all starts with that most abhorrent of rulings-Citizens United which gives corporations the necessary leeway to buy their way into the political arena and influence our policymakers which in turn leads to questionable action like what we saw earlier this week.
As the citizens of the most influential state in the country, but more importantly: as California College Democrats, it falls on all of us to step and be the change that we all so desire to see. In the short run, boycotting companies like Hobby Lobby, and Mardel, who have stripped away a woman’s right to have the medication that has been afforded to her by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will definitely have a substantial impact and be a step in the right direction. But to make the most poignant point, it all starts with the candidates who we have individually backed in the primaries. The march to November is underway and if we as active and hardworking college democrats work to get the right candidates into office come November, such a result will have a ripple effect that could reverberate throughout the country and lead to positive changes.
Go California, go Democrats!
Written by Edgar Ortiz of the University of La Verne College Democrats.