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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Morning-after Pill, Free Speech and Gender Parity

The Hobby Lobby Case before SCOTUS is premised by the court's earlier ruling on Citizens United. This legislative frankenstein reiterates the SCOTUS decree that corporations are PEOPLE and thusly entitled to 1st amendment rights of free speech. The crux of the argument now, once the Affordable Care Act has been mandated as federal law, is that corporations want to exercise their free speech rights on the basis of religious or moral convictions. In other words, they are seeking a “conscientious objection” status which will allow them to circumvent the federal law.

Although a stretch, it could be said that these corporations, as PEOPLE, are protesting a law much in the way draft dodgers and draft card burners protested the federal government conscripting them to fight in the Vietnam War. Despite the unique features in this case before SCOTUS the general outline of the case is a moral and civil rights battle that has been fermenting for decades. The battle is about the sovereignty over a womans reproductive rights with sweeping implications for males as well. 

However, a solemn question looms larger than the breadth of the particulars in the Hobby Lobby case which is whether to pay for its female employees health coverage that includes contraceptives. The question is, in Orwellian terms; whose free speech is MORE equal than the others? If since SCOTUS has decided that corporations are PEOPLE, are they then, through the sheer size of the manpower within the corporations, more deserving of free speech than the individual citizen?

Perhaps the fact that, according to statistics compiled by Forbes Magazine, the parity in female CEO's in Fortune 500 companies to male CEO's is alarmingly low at 8.1% as of 2013 might play into the sovereignty question.  That the chief plaintiff of the Hobby Lobby Case is a woman only underscores the disparity. Moreover, Viagra, Cialis and other pde5 inhibitors (erectile dysfunction drugs) are components of health care policies which are conspicuously intended for men. Yet their inclusion in these policies has either never or at best disingenuously been subject to public debate. These male-centric drugs enhance and augment a male's self-determination regarding their reproductive free speech rights.

It is now time that this circular and illogical rhetoric be cast aside or better yet, turned on its head. Imagine if the hypothetical contra-argument was set forth by Hobby Lobby and other corporations afforded a PERSON status. What if corporations required their employees to adopt the morning-after pill as a component of their health coverage based on religious or moral articles of faith. 

These corporation PEOPLE won't want a portion of their work staff hindered by 9 months of pregnancy and intermittent care of a newborn. No, that would negatively effect the female employee's labor efficiency. So what better way to combat a woman's free fall in labor output than to encourage an early pregnancy termination. The fact that a man or a woman's labor output is sovereign personal property and not a profit variable controlled by corporate PEOPLE is a whole other can of worms.

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