Women's Issues

Eden Foods Wants To Deny Birth Control Coverage For Employees And Here We Go Again

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shutterstock_193541405In the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling, so many who supported them in their fight to not cover forms of birth control they believed to be abortifacients were shrieking about how it was not a big deal because Hobby Lobby was still covering other forms of birth control. The company’s lawsuit was specific to blocking coverage of Plan B (“The Morning After Pill”), Ella (another form of emergency contraception), copper IUD’s, and IUD’s with progestin, all in the name of their “sincerely held religious beliefs”. Hobby Lobby covers 16 other forms of birth control for it’s employees. Many of those who were against Hobby Lobby stated their concern that although it is good Hobby Lobby is still willing to cover all other forms of birth control that this decision by SCOTUS would set a precedent for other companies to take similar measures or to go to even bigger extremes in what they would attempt to deny their employees.

Well, that day has come. According to Businessweek, Eden Foods, an organic food company, is reviving a lawsuit from March 2013 in a bid to deny birth control coverage in ALL forms for its 128 employees. The company is owned by Michael Potter, a devout, practicing Catholic. This turn of events is disturbing to say the least as this is exactly what opponents of Hobby Lobby’s quest to deny coverage of some forms of birth control to their employees said would happen. From Businessweek:

And it turns out that Potter has never provided coverage for birth control. Until Obamacare began requiring insurers to do so, the company’s insurance policy with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan specifically excluded contraception in all forms, which Potter believes “almost always involve[s] immoral and unnatural practices.” In Eden’s insurance policy, birth control fell into the category of “lifestyle drugs.” So did Viagra.

So, Potter never covered “lifestyle drugs” for his employees until the Affordable Care Act forced him to do so and now he sees the success of Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit and has decided to renew his mission to deny coverage of any form of birth control to his 128 employees. This means that the young woman with very heavy periods who needs the birth control pill to correct them won’t have coverage. This means that the married mother who needs to protect herself from having more children because she cannot afford them will not have coverage. And yes, this means that the Slutty McSlutterson who just flat-out enjoys having the slutty, slutty sex will now have to be concerned about paying for her own birth control because her employer does not feel it morally appropriate to do so. This is so frightening to me.

I wish I could put it more eloquently but I will just come right out and say that I have trouble understanding where one person’s religious freedom ends and where personal freedom for others to make their own life choices, unimpeded, begins. I suppose it is a philosophical question to try to decipher whether or not another person’s decisions about their sex life has any bearing on the moral beliefs you hold close and what impact someone else being on birth control has on you. All I know is that my employer covers these things for me right now and I guess that can be considered in jeopardy for the foreseeable future as companies start coming out of the woodwork with more “sincerely held religious beliefs” about what I should or should not be doing with my body and my health. I rarely say things like this, but God help us all. If this is where we are headed, I am truly afraid for what the future may bring.


(Image: JPC-PROD/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post’s author, Valerie Williams, on Twitter or via e-mail at [email protected]