Hobby Lobby vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

While I try not to get political in my blog postings, yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby is too big a deal to not talk about here. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out this article from Mashable.

The ruling is appalling. Not only did some men decide that it was okay to take away women’s reproductive rights in the name of religion, but lots women now have something extra to worry about: the consequences that come from getting pregnant while having a serious disease. Okay, sure, women can still go buy birth control on their own. It just wouldn’t be covered by insurance. But birth control is expensive, especially if you’re already struggling to afford the medications necessary to keep you alive.

Most people know that cancer patients need to come off their chemo drugs before trying to get pregnant. What most people don’t know is that women with autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis are often prescribed those same chemo drugs to combat their immune systems. Drugs like Methotrexate are poisons that often lead to miscarriage or serious birth defects.

I’m lucky. My doctor has decided that I don’t need aggressive treatment for my RA yet. He’s purposely keeping me on what he considers “baby friendly” medication for as long as possible. Most women don’t have that option. Women with aggressive autoimmune diseases have to plan their pregnancies as much as two years in advance. They need to quit their medications and allow the drug to work its way out of their systems before they can even try to conceive, which can take months or years.

I can’t imagine how painful this ruling is for these women. I can’t imagine being told that I have no choice but to risk suffering through the heartache that follows a miscarriage that would have been avoided if certain forms of birth control had been available.

I have RA, I’m engaged, and I’m looking for a full time job. Do I seriously need to limit my job options because my future boss may have some ridiculous vendetta against my reproductive health and the choices I make with my future husband? Anyone else find it highly ironic that Hobby Lobby’s owners claim they won’t support abortifacients (chemical abortions), yet they just made it more possible to have unwanted spontaneous abortions via chemo drugs? Yeah, a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) is not the same as an abortion. I get that and I’m not trying to start an argument over which is worse.

My point is that no one should have any right to dictate the decisions I make based on their beliefs. Religion is something that is supposed to be personal. I’d never try to enforce my beliefs on anyone, and I have no respect for people or companies trying to push me to follow their supposed morals. Where is the morality in putting a couple through emotional and physical trauma?

If this whole argument is over “religious freedom,” then where the hell is mine?

 

 

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4 responses to “Hobby Lobby vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Marcia

    I agree whole-heartedly! My daughter has taken birth control pills since a teen to combat hormone imbalance. There are other reasons to take them. That isn’t addressed in this ruling at all! I’m sure there will be some law suits to follow from other religions that will certainly make the supreme court regret this ruling.

    • Alyssa Pierce

      Hi Marcia,

      I took the pill for the same reason in my late teens. It actually helped ease some of my RA symptoms in the process. I hope enough women come together to fight for their rights. If I’m understanding correctly, Hobby Lobby still covers some forms of birth control, but that’s not a good enough answer for me. I’m not about to let a craft store dictate my reproductive rights.

  • Karla Stephenson

    You are 100% spot on! I am just finding your blog because I believe your husband posted it to Reddit. I am so glad he did because I am living with severe seropositive R.A. and Fibromyalgia. I am really looking forward to following your blog.
    Keep up the great work! It is nice to read from a familiar perspective.

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