The individual is on trial in the U.S. Supreme Court.
It just might lose. And that could very well herald the death of the individual and the final triumph of the state.
Under Obamacare, employers are required to arrange for birth control in their health care plans — even if they object on deep religious grounds.
The high court recently heard oral arguments in a challenge to that requirement, in the case called Zubik v. Burwell — but more famously entangling a group of nuns known as the Little Sisters of the Poor.
In essence, the government is arguing that it has a compelling interest to — in other words, it has no other choice but to — force the sisters, the other plaintiffs, and every other religious opponent of killing the unborn to participate in what they consider to be doing just that.
The government says not only that it has a compelling interest in decreeing universal access to birth control — but also in forcing employers to provide it, so it’s “seamless.”
In short, the government is saying that women can’t be expected to pursue birth control on their own — even if it’s free and provided by another entity. Nope, it has to be employers who arrange for it and fill out any necessary paperwork — in short, participate in it.
Again, why does the government feel it can trample on the religious liberties of objectors? Answer: so that access to birth control is “seamless” — in other words, convenient.
Think about that for a moment. This government is arguing that the convenience of access to birth control trumps the employers’ religious liberties under the Constitution.
And let’s be real, here. Much if not most of birth control is used for recreational sex. And while you may have a constitutional right to that, you do not have a right to force another human being to violate his or her religious conscience by participating in it in any way.
As convenient as that may be.
This is a frightening new low in our republic’s history. This case could signal the end of the individual in America, at least as we’ve known it under the Constitution. The “seamless” convenience of the many outweighs the deeply held religious beliefs of the few? That doesn’t even sound like the America we knew.
What rights does an individual have after that?
“Does the government really have a compelling interest in making sure women can not just get free birth control but get it without so much as filling out any paperwork?” writes Stephanie Slade at Reason magazine. “Is needing to enroll in a separate plan from my employer’s — even if the supplementary plan will be paid for by the government — such an enormous obstacle to my good health as to warrant trampling the religious liberties of the Little Sisters of the Poor and others?”
(c)2016 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)
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