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Political ramifications of Hobby Lobby ruling

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was announced June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Supporters of employer-paid birth control rally in front of the Supreme Court before the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was announced June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

We keep hearing about the face-change the GOP has undergone or is attempting—friendly to minorities, particularly Latinos to get back to the heady days of Latino support for W (40%-ish); some newly pragmatic on climate change, despite global warming deniers making up the majority of elected Republicans; and the war on women—what war on women?

Well, sadly, there is a war on women, and it’s really a tragic situation.

The news read: “The Supreme Court ruled in favor of three family-owned businesses Monday, saying they can refuse to pay for certain forms of contraception that they find morally repugnant.” But the underlying political message is: Conservatives will jump though any hoop, no matter how convoluted, to assert their right to control women’s health care choices. This is a civil rights issue, and a Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issue. The SCOTUS ruling singles out women by only allowing the rejection of components of Obamacare that deal with women’s health. The ruling takes on the character of Bills of Attainder—expressly prohibited by the Constitution—by stripping women of their right to equal protection under the law. It’s no wonder the five ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby were men.

Where will all this go? What other doors may be opened as religious legal assertions most certainly proliferate?

There is a risk of the continued dismantling of reproductive freedoms as evidenced by several state-level policies and laws recently enacted. But in the long term, from a political perspective, Democratic operatives are considering a silver lining. Why? Because this kind of ruling from the Roberts Court only solidifies in the minds of voters where the conservative movement gets it mojo. It quite clear to see, the GOP gets its mojo from denying women access to medical care. Or, as conservative blogger Erick Erickson tweeted in a most sublime depiction of the dark underbelly of the Patriarchy: “My religion trumps your ‘right’ to employer subsidized consequence free sex.” It’s a merciless indifference further reinforced by the GOP’s blanket opposition to health care for lower and middle income wage earners, or anything to do with the Affordable Care Act.

In the upcoming midterm elections and beyond, this attitude carried by conservatives will undermine any effort at rehabilitating the Republican Party for women voters. Women’s rights are the future. Religious fundamentalism isn’t. That’s why if the GOP continues these kinds of actions, the future will have much less of the Republican Party.