This write up by C. Harrison Myers is one of the better articles I have come across in respect to the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby. While many who identify as “libertarian” focus on what the ideal voluntary or free market response is, the fact is that the United States is fully absent of markets that are free, just as it is fully free of capitalism absent of corporatism.
In many countries, birth control does not require a prescription from a physician. In these countries, women who want birth control can “deal with it” themselves. The United States, however, is not one of these countries. Despite the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ recommendation that birth control be available over-the-counter, the Food and Drug Administration has been stuck in consideration for over two decades, despite how safe the drug is. Laws requiring women to pay out of pocket to visit a physician, undergo a pap smear and a pelvic exam, and acquire a prescription before they can deal with it themselves as Walsh suggests indicate that we do not live in the free market on which Walsh’s argument depends.
And this is the fundamental issue. If you are an American woman then your sexual health is governed by the state. It is the state that determines if your employer must provide birth control and what type. And it is the state that prevents you from seeking realistic alternatives on your own. You are confined to the state corporatist rules that dictate how birth control is related to your employment and you are confined to the state’s legal rules that limit ease of access to contraception.
As Myers put it:
The argument that people can acquire birth control privately on the free market if they do not like their employer’s coverage assumes that there exists a free market. But that is clearly not the case.