IUD Inside

Last month’s Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court filled me with such blinding rage that I have been unable to write about it (or even think about it) in a reasonable manner. And railing at the universe with vitriol and bitterness is useless. It turns into preaching to the choir. If any of us hope to effect change that is one lousy way to do it.

So let me get this off my chest and I’ll be able to move on.

Ugh, I can’t do it. I can’t curse out the members of SCOTUS who formed the majority of the ruling or Hobby Lobby in writing. It would be irresponsible because it would basically invalidate everything else I say.


Okey doke. I do feel a tiny bit better. You know what else has made me feel better? Buying this T-shirt.

Why am I so upset? Obviously, an employer rather than a medical professional making health care decisions that only affect women is a big problem for me. But leaving that for a moment, what scares the living shit out of me is how this court values the rights of the few over the many. Business owners are not a majority in our country. They tend to be more powerful and wealthy than the general population. And in this ruling their wants were given more weight.

The ruling is un-American.

Imagine for a moment that Christian business owners were not the ones who brought the law suit, rather a group of Muslim business owners who disliked birth control being a component of the company healthcare plan. Do you believe for a second the ruling would have been the same?

Certain business owners do not want to pay for birth control, either all of it or some of it. But you know what? They aren’t paying for it at all. Health care is not some benevolent gift granted to workers by a company. It is compensation for services rendered. The idea that a company can dictate how any part of a compensation package is spent, especially based on religious ideology, is mind boggling. Could a closely held company run by a devout Jew ban employees from purchasing pork with money they earned in his or her employ? Could LBGT community members be denied jobs based on sexual orientation?

Those examples seem extreme, but no more extreme than the ruling handed down on June 30th. My shock that day was complete. I did not believe for a moment that the ruling could possible go the way that it did.

Fifty years from now when this court is considered by historians the majority opinion will be judged harshly.

Would you like to know why I choose an IUD as birth control?

Because my husband and I enjoy having sex and we cannot afford another baby. Because I have been on hormonal birth control to manage severe menstrual cramps since before I was sexually active. Because I had a D&C five days postpartum after delivering our first son to stem the horrifying bleeding caused by a piece of left behind placenta and I hemorrhaged six hours after the birth of our second son and menstrual bleeding now scares the hell out of me and exacerbates my anxiety disorder. The tiniest blood clot makes me seize up with terror. What does that have to do with anything? A side effect of the Mirena IUD is a much lighter flow. My reasons are complex and simple, much like the choices any woman makes about her reproductive health and life.

To have that choice compromised by an employer is unconscionable. The women who work for Hobby Lobby are hourly and low wage employees. They cannot just get another job. Low wage retail is a shitty existence. They would get out if they could. The women with the least power are the ones getting screwed. Un-American. Shameful. Frightening.

So what does an outraged feminist do? This one makes a t-shirt. And wears it in pubic with pride. My tiny action might not make any difference at all. I usually wouldn’t advertise my private choices on my t-shirt. But this one matters. I am not ashamed of my IUD. I’m grateful for it. And I’m pissed that I need to be grateful to my husband’s employer for not objecting to it.

photo (45)

Bam. The IUD is right in there doing its thing. Hope the folks I passed by at Target and at the Children’s Science Museum yesterday enjoyed it as much as I do.



29 thoughts on “IUD Inside

  1. Your rant is so over the top and factually wrong as to be sad. They didn’t exclude birth control from the health care plan. Only birth control which terminates (I.e. Kills) the babies.

    Please get your facts straight before you spout ridiculous lies which imbeciles will believe.

    Or do you believe them?


    • There is no scientific evidence that IUDs terminate pregnancies. Hobby Lobby will remove 4 methods of birth control, but the day after the ruling the majority expanded it to include all methods at closely held companies that disagreed with birth control altogether.

      And please be respectful. This is not the Huffington Post, it is my personal blog and I will delete nasty comments. I am happy to engage in debate. But I am not cruel to commenters, I do not call names. And I expect the same treatment both for myself and for fellow commenters you might disagree with.

      • And you again mislead with your response to me. IUDs were only 1 of the types they disagree with. Plan B and Ella (morning after) pills.
        You can’t respect people who believe ending a pregnancy is ending a life? You want them to support what they view as killing a child? Really?

      • Rory, yup. You are correct.

        Even though I agree with you I would like to ask you to be respectful in the comments here on my personal blog. I have no control and little interest in the comments on Huffington Post (although some of them were cracking me up today), but here I do have some control. I would like the comment section to be respectful and not mean spirited. Because no one who disagrees is going to listen to you if you accuse them of spouting ridiculous lies. And being you are factually correct I’d like it if people listened to you.

        Thanks so much!

      • I can be respectful. Your article was not, though. Full of misrepresentations and scare tactics. Hobby Lobby does not disagree with birth control as you led others to believe. Your article is false and an outright scare tactics which is a part of stirring up hatred in this country.

      • I do not agree. I am fastidious when it comes to being factually correct and stand by everything I wrote. Women are not treated equally in this country and people should be scared. I certainly am. Calling out hatred is not stirring it up. It is important in order to destroy it, rather than sweep in under the rug.

      • Is it hatred to be against morning after pills (which terminate pregnancies)? That’s not hatred. It’s the opposite. Love for life.

  2. You are so off base it is really sad and can only engender pity for you. No one is stopping anyone from going to the local pharmacy and buying their own darn birth control. You want to force your moral (or lack there of) views on others and when they don’t agree with your view you call them shallow, immoral, intolerant, racist, anti-woman, the list I’m sure is very long for what you may call others who do not agree with you. Get a grip, you got your IUD and just live in country where others can have differing opinions and any type of birth control they want without a government involved or a company paying for it. I’m sure your head will explode from this “Un-American” comment…

    • Believe me, I’m not fussed by your comment. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Being this is my personal blog and not the Huffington Post I will delete comments that are mean-spirited though. When you are being unkind I wonder if you are really trying to have an honest debate with me or if you are just trying to make yourself feel better.

      The most interesting part of your comment to me is the part where you accuse me of name calling and you bring up a laundry list of things I have not at all said. It would seem like a traditional case of projecting.

      I am clearly not going to change your mind. But without insurance IUDs cost $900 plus a doctor visit. You cannot just go get one at the pharmacy. They also do not cause abortions.

    • I just want to note that the LGBT community is not a protected class in most places. They can indeed be denied a job because of their sexual orientation.

  3. You are AMAZING!!! I can’t believe how alike we think! I am so grateful to you for posting this and so grateful to the universe that it showed up in my inbox when I was going through the painstaking frustrating process of uploading my second YouTube video, which is ABOUT THIS VERY PROBLEM. Will you check it out? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqe_T4BbvSY (I don’t know if this link will work but you can search find it on rachelvankoughnet.com–it JUST launched and I would love to know your opinion). Keep using your voice!

  4. Hi, Karen-
    I think you may misunderstand (or at a minimum are overstating) the ruling.

    The delineation among the methods that fall under the “protected” ruling is they only cover a very narrow subset of birth control options that prevent fertilized eggs from being implanted into the uterus. Items that clearly prevent the fertilization of an egg (thus there is no potential “life” created, 16 of 20) are still covered. So no one is “taking away” birth control.

    The question at hand is where people believe life begins. For some people, that is the point of fertilization. For others, they believe it’s perfectly ok to crush the skull of a baby in the third trimester, just as long as it hasn’t taken a “breath” outside the womb. Most people fall somewhere between those two extreme points.

    Here are the medical definitions – the rub may be the gray area between “may prevent an egg from being fertilized” – I’m not a scientist or a doctor but understand the rationale given the data available…

    I understand you disagree with the decision, but your article is filled with misleading statements, so I just wanted to share that perspective.

    Best of luck to you – M

    PS – If you are through having children, you might want to consider endrometrial ablation. Best thing I’ve ever done.

    PPS – was your IUD covered before like 3 months ago? Is it still covered today? Because my guess is that if your employer covered it before the ruling, they still are. If they didn’t, and they fit an extremely narrow set of criteria, they don’t have to. Life is unchanged for all. Right? I totally don’t get this rant. Hobby Lobby didn’t cover it yesterday, not covering it tomorrow, nobody took anything away from anyone. Companies that cover it (which would be nearly all), still are. SWIM? That’s the credibility killer here. Really, why the outrage?

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      I do not think I am overstating. In the post I mention that some companies want 4 methods not covered while others want all uncovered. Furthermore the ruling was expanded the following day to extend to companies who wanted to cover nothing.

      My IUD was and will continue to be covered. That does not diminish my outrage on behalf of women who are less privileged than myself who will be negatively impacted. The ACA required coverage for all women, so something was taken away.

      There are no lawsuits challenging the coverage of preexisting conditions or dependents for longer periods. This is a women’s issue. It is serious.

      All of that said I truly appreciate your respectful comment.

      • Why is this a serious issue? There are plenty of cheap, if not free, birth control methods. Why should we be forced to pay for someone else’s sex life? Are you also fighting for Viagra to be included?

        What’s sad here is the continuing insistence on EVERYTHING being provided to us. Why not be disciplined, work, and take care of yourself. If you don’t want kids, either get some cheap/free condoms, rhythm method, don’t have sex, etc.

        And why can’t you respect others deeply held religious beliefs regardless? Instead of labeling them? I thought liberals were supposedly open minded and accepting. They seem to be, but only when it suits them.

      • Andy,

        Viagra is already covered by Hobby Lobby’s plan.

        I must admit I’m pretty frustrated. I’m not sure that you actually read my post. At no point did I indicate that the general population should be forced to pay for my birth control.

        (I did not mention this in the article, but I do believe single payer is the best way to fix our system. But that would be funded through taxes. Everyone would be paying, everyone would receive a service. Much like our highway system or the FAA or the public school system. In that kind of set up I still don’t see it as being forced to pay, as in “Why am I forced to pay for your kid to take Algebra?” I know people make that argument, but it is frighteningly myopic to me. If we have an educated populace that can travel with ease and is healthy we are only creating productive members of society)

        The cost of the health care coverage is the same to the employer and employee if IUDs are covered or not. If the employer objects to IUDs on religious grounds he or she is free not to get one! But they should not be free to dictate that IUDs must be removed from a plan.

        I respect deeply held religious beliefs. All of them. I do not respect hypocrisy. Hobby Lobby objects to 4 forms of birth control, but invests in them to make money for their retirement fund. That does not show deeply held religious beliefs.

        This country is built upon separation of church and state. We are not a Christian nation. Again, if this case was brought by Muslim business owners the outcome would certainly have been different.

        Nothing I wrote would indicate I don’t respect religion. I am actually offended that you would accuse me of that.

        And finally, not all forms of birth control work for all women due to many medical reasons. The side effects can be deadly. Therefore all options should be on the table (for women who have health insurance — which means they or their spouse or parent is paying for the insurance) so a woman and her doctor can make an informed decision. If a woman is already paying for insurance why should she have to pay out of pocket for something that is already covered in the same plan at a different company?

  5. I just wanted to express admiration for how you handled comments on this post. Really great work maintaining a fact-based, respectful dialogue. Oh, and it’s a fabulous T-shirt.

  6. You are so much more patient than I would be. And super cool! Two things – why do those who insist that “their” deeply held religious beliefs get to dictate OTHERS beliefs. And second – if you Hobby Lobby – or someone else doesn’t want to provide the recovered coverage – how about they give up the tax deduction they are getting for paying for insurance? And really – when did Viaga become medically necessary – seriously?

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