The instant the Supreme Court ruled on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the War on Women™ was back on. Liberals from sea to shining sea had talking points, Facebook memes, and … narratives ready to go and deployed them in a cascade of messaging discipline. It was truly a sight to behold. You may have seen this particularly nonsensical but effective image shared hundreds of times within 24 hours:
I mean really. But apart from saying “nuh uh!”, conservatives had little effective response to this narrative. But then Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute’s blog discovered a little-noticed passage in the Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito:
The effect of the HHS-created accommodation on the women employed by Hobby Lobby and the other companies involved in these cases would be precisely zero. Under that accommodation, these women would still be entitled to all FDA-approved contraceptives without cost sharing.
This refers to an exception created by the Department of Health and Human Services that forces insurers to pick up the tab for coverage objected to by religious non-profit organizations and churches. Women employed by these organizations receive the same coverage, medications, and cost-free contraceptives as everyone else as mandated by HHS, even though the organizations themselves refuse to pay for that coverage.
Alito and the Court extended the religious liberty protection to “closely-held” private corporations by allowing this coverage loophole to also apply to them. No female employee of Hobby Lobby is going to lose coverage of any medication, even after this ruling. Hobby Lobby’s insurance company will fill the gap in coverage left by the religious liberty exemption granted to the company, just like they do for churches and religious-affiliated non-profits.
That sound you hear is the liberal War on Women™ narrative coming crashing down. Hobby Lobby doesn’t hate women (they employ thousands of them). Alito doesn’t hate women. The five men in the Supreme Court majority on this case don’t hate women.
They ruled this way specifically because they knew women would still be protected by the Obama administration’s workaround. Amazing what you can find when you actually read the court opinion, isn’t it?