If you heard about the lawsuit filed by 43 religious organizations in regards to providing insurance that covers contraceptives, you’ve probably heard the intellectually dishonest point that the church isn’t trying to shove religious beliefs down people’s throats. Honest!
Well, that shit is nothing new. Arguments against providing said coverage were rejected eight years ago by the California Supreme Court, and there’s little indication the federal court would act differently. The court wrote:
The [law] serves the compelling state interest of eliminating gender discrimination. Evidence before the Legislature showed that women during their reproductive years spent as much as 68 percent more than men in out-of-pocket health care costs, due in part to the cost of prescription contraceptives and the various costs of unintended pregnancies, including health risks, premature deliveries and increased neonatal care. Assembly, Senate and legislative staff analyses of the bills that became the [birth control law] consistently identify the elimination of this economic inequity as the bills’ principal object…
Strongly enhancing the state’s interest is the circumstance that any exemption from the WCEA sacrifices the affected women’s interest in receiving equitable treatment with respect to health benefits. We are unaware of any decision in which this court, or the United States Supreme Court, has exempted a religious objector from the operation of a neutral, generally applicable law despite the recognition that the requested exemption would detrimentally affect the rights of third parties… [I]n rejecting a religious employer’s challenge to a law requiring him to pay Social Security and unemployment taxes for his employees, the [Supreme C]ourt wrote that “[g]ranting an exemption from social security taxes to an employer operates to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.”
As ThinkProgress notes, the only justice to vote in favor of striking down the contraceptive coverage mandate in California previously compared liberalism to “slavery” and social security to a “socialist revolution.”
Oh, and before anyone howls about “liberal California,” all six justices on California’s Supreme Court were Republican.