A federal appeals court is currently considering whether Obamacare's birth control mandate violates the religious rights of the parents of teenage girls.
Last year a U.S. District Court threw out Missouri State Rep. Paul Joseph Wieland and his wife Teresa's lawsuit, but since then the Supreme Court ruled that "closely-held corporations" — companies like Hobby Lobby — can opt out of the contraceptive mandate due to religious exemptions. Attorney Timothy Belz argued Monday that Hobby Lobby opened the door to the Wieland's suit.
In this analogy the Wielands are Hobby Lobby and their three daughters — ages 13, 18 and 19 — are employees. According to MSNBC, Belz also compared the requirement that health care plans cover birth control to a law requiring parents have a "stocked unlocked liquor cabinet in their house" for teens to use. Birth control is also, according to Belz, like sending a kid to college when the only TV channel is pornography.
A judge on the appeals court panel argued that parents could just tell their kids not to get birth control — in other words, parent their kids. “Well, we all have high hopes for our kids, that is true," Belz said. "We all expect and want them to obey us, they don’t always.”
Another solution might be for the Wielands to get a different insurance plan. The family currently gets insurance through the state, since Rep. Wieland is a state employee. But as St. Louis Public Radio notes, he could also buy an insurance plan that doesn't cover contraceptives through his business (in an interview he said such insurance would be too expensive).
Alisa Klein, a lawyer representing the government, argued that group plans like the state's can't be tailored to meet the specific needs of every parent. “Different people will have different beliefs,’’ she said. “Here we have 100,000 beneficiaries in the Missouri group health care plan and there is no precedent for having the employer design the plan 100,000 ways.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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