Quickies: Indiana, force fields, and poor womens’ access to family planning


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I should mention that they’re calling it the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RFRA had its genesis, pardon the pun, in First Amendment cases involving Indians, Jews, and Muslims. Horrible appropriation.

    1. Quite; the federal RFRA was passed in response to a Supreme Court decision that upheld the firing of two native americans who were fired after they tested positive for drugs, because they had smoked peyote as part of their religious ceremonies. This was an integral part of their religious worship rituals, but the Supreme Court (in an opinion written by Justice Scalia) argued that generally applicable laws held sway. (One might compare it to the use of communion wine during Prohibition, though in that case the exemption was written into the Volstead Act).

      Hobby Lobby and its progeny, as well as these state RFRAs, seek to allow people to refuse service/discriminate by arguing that it is their sincerely held belief that the person they are denying service to, or the service they are denying, goes against their religion. It allows pharmacists to refuse to fill out contraceptive prescriptions *and* not refer the client to someone who can fill it; it allows Hobby Lobby and others to refuse to provide contraceptive care in their employee’s health insurance; it is being used by Notre Dame to claim that even letting the government know they don’t want to provide contraceptive care to their employees is a violation of their religious freedom because it will allow their employees to get that care elsewhere (which they consider a sin). This is about actions that affect others, not personal acts of worship, which is what the RFRA was meant to protect. It allows for the “exportation” of moral judgements.

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