Ladies, would you like to guess who's screwing around with your reproductive health coverage this week? Haha, that was a trick question -- the answer is always "everyone," but we were specifically referring to the Supreme Court! Yesterday it ordered the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to revisit its decision last year demanding Catholic university Notre Dame ... fill out a religious-freedom opt-out form if it didn't want to supply contraceptive coverage under the rules of Obamacare. Why did SCOTUS vacate and remand Seventh Circuit's decision? Because Burwell v. Hobby Lobby! Remember, "religious freedom" isn't only about straight bakeries and straight florists - it is also about anti-science craft stores!


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We can sort of vaguely see why SCOTUS remanded the case -- the Seventh Circuit handed down its decision in February 2014, four months before Hobby Lobby was decided. But Hobby Lobby's holding was limited to "closely-held" (for-profit) corporations with religious objections. Notre Dame is a religiously-affiliated non-profit, and was eligible for for a contraceptive opt-out even before Hobby Lobby because the religious non-profit exemption was written into the Affordable Care Act. But of course, Notre Dame's lawsuit is based on its view -- sorry, its Sincere Religious Belief -- that filling out the opt-out ITSELF violates Notre Dame's religious freedom. The Seventh Circuit said no once; hopefully they'll say it again, louder. Oy.

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The Supreme Court's order vacating and remanding the Seventh Circuit's decision doesn't necessarily mean there will be a different outcome in the Seventh Circuit the next time around -- as MSNBC points out

Every federal appeals court to address this question – including the 3rd, 6th, 7th, and D.C. Circuits – has found that the institutions’ religious beliefs were not violated by having to fill out the opt-out form. Two of those appeals courts reached that conclusion post-Hobby Lobby, and civil liberties advocates were confident the 7th Circuit would as well.

In other words, the Seventh Circuit could just go back and say yeah, we read Hobby Lobby, and we would now like to tell you again to please shut up and sign the opt-out form, and someone else will handle the contraception insurance. And if the case reaches the Supreme Court again, SCOTUS may be favorably disposed to the religious exemption system embodied in the opt-out. Slate writes:

Confusingly, though, the court also wrote in Hobby Lobby that it was not opposed to the nonprofit religious exemption system under which insurers are required to provide contraception coverage instead of objecting employers like Notre Dame.

If this is correct, and the Supreme Court actually is okay with the opt-out form, then we are all good! But don't you get a sinking feeling, when the current group of Supreme bros (not you, Justice Breyer) get together to decide things about ladyhealth? And please let's not forget the totally obnoxious "religious freedom" argument being advanced here: institutions like Notre Dame and companies (COMPANIES!) like Hobby Lobby have won the argument that they should be able to opt out of laws based on their completely nonsensical assertion that reality is what they say it is, because RELIGION. For example, that certain types of contraception cause abortions. It doesn't matter what science says -- all they have to do is say that they Sincerely Believe it's true. And now, even though they can easily opt out of the requirement that their employee insurance plans cover contraception and have the insurer pay for and provide contraception directly, they are arguing that filling out the opt-out form is too much of a religious burden.

Do you have the feeling that the purpose here is to stop ladies from safely doing sex? Or to make sure that if ladies do choose to do sex, they are required to have a baby every single time, as some kind of punishment? And to generally say a big "fuck you" to ladyhealth issues in general, because ladies are mostly sluts who need to be controlled? Yeah, us too. That is exactly the feeling that we have. AGAIN. FOREVER.

[NPR/MSNBC/Slate/SCOTUSBlog/image via DemocraticUnderground]

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