On Friday, a Bush-appointed federal judge (the first Bush, not the second) ruled in favor of the HHS in a lawsuit over the contraception mandate. This isn’t too surprising; the challenges to the mandate are on really shaky grounds. But I was particularly tickled, because the judge defended the mandate on two arguments that I have been using repeatedly, especially at RH Reality Check and Double X: Withholding the benefit is a violation of the employee’s religious liberty and since the benefit is part of a compensation package, trying to control how the employee spends it on religious grounds is really no different than telling the employee she can’t spend her money on birth control because you sign her paychecks.
Because this is about female sexuality and there’s all these sex-phobic and misogynist arguments being thrown around, the basic issue has gotten somewhat obscured, which is that your boss is not actually your master. Also, your compensation is not your allowance, and they don’t get to dock your pay because they think you’re being naughty on your own time. Conservatives would generally like to give employers more control over their employees, so anyone who supports the plantiffs in these lawsuits because they’re pissed that women are having sex without including them is being an utter fool, as well as an asshole. If the door is opened to allowing employers to control how you use your compensation after you’ve earned it, god only knows what other kinds of restrictions on how you spend your money they’re going to start angling for.