An opinion piece in the New York Times by Elizabeth Deutsch about the contraception/religious liberty case before the Supreme Court contains language worth noting. From, “No Contraception, No Equality:”
Access to reproductive care is central to equality between the sexes. By requiring employer’s health plants to provide contraceptive coverage, the Affordable Care Act represents an important link between sex equality and reproductive rights.
I have no doubt that Deutsch would say the same thing about requiring free access to abortion in all health insurance policies.
That is certainly Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s position about abortion.
Ditto, it would seem, Hillary Clinton. Indeed, I believe that if Hillary is able to appoint the replacement for the late Antonin Scalia, we will see Roe v Wade overturned by a case that allows NO regulation of abortion (beyond minimum sanitary requirements).
For the moment, the ACA does not require coverage of abortion. (Yes, I know there have been some indirect get-arounds.) But that was a mere expedient to get the law passed.
If the government ever looks like it did in 2009 again, the law will be changed to allow the promulgation of regulations requiring abortion coverage.
That is what makes the contraception cases so perilous. Contraception is not controversial in the way that abortion is.
That means it would be easier for the SCOTUS to overrule religious liberty than would be the case if current litigation involved abortion.
But the legal precedents these contraception cases establish will apply going forward if (when) the government tries to use health insurance as a means to achieve the ideological end of free abortions for anyone who wants them, and perhaps–if a majority of states ever legalized–ready access to assisted suicide.