Hollywood might have called it, "Revenge of the Nuns." But this isn't Hollywood. This is reality. Real people, real women, fighting back against the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) attack on religious liberty, a right to which women have equal claim to as men.
The Supreme Court's decision to protect the Little Sisters of the Poor with an injunction from the president's abortion-pill mandate forces the Democrats to face an inconvenient truth: the so-called "war on women" is theirs to own.
From the beginning, the president and his party tried to frame any and all opposition to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, which forces employers to provide drugs like Plan B (also known as the morning after pill), Ella (essentially a week-after pill)and others in their healthcare plans as an attack on women. No doubt, they were not planning on the most famous plaintiff in the resultant largest class-action religious liberty lawsuit in American history to be an order of chaste women who have devoted their lives to caring for the impoverished and dying elderly.
The Democrat's "war on women" rhetoric took a one-two punch first when the Supreme Court granted a stay to the nuns, after the Obama administration refused to accept that, when the nuns said "no means no" to signing a form that violated their most deeply-held religious beliefs, they meant it. Just days later, more than fifty groups and individuals filed amicus briefs in support of Hobby Lobby, whose related case is also pending before the Supreme Court. Among the friends of the court standing with Hobby Lobby were multiple prominent women and women's public policy groups of all faiths and races. Concerned Women for America's (CWA)brief included two other women's public policy groups and a broad coalition of female State Legislative and Executive Branch Officials.
The nuns own legal representation, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is headed by a woman and is more than half female. That's a better gender ratio than the president's White House.
The suggestion that refusal to stand behind the HHS mandate is anti-woman is its own affront on women. To be true, it would mean that women think and vote as a monolith with free contraception and abortion as their top priority. What does that say about those that hurl the 'anti-woman' accusations and their view of women? Not only is this degrading and insulting to women, it's simply not statistically true. Polling consistently finds that women, like men, care most about the economy these days. They want more jobs like those offered at Hobby Lobby, a company that pays employees well above the minimum wage and whose stores shut down on Sundays to offer employees a true break and time to spend with family. Women are also more likely than men to self-identify as pro-life, and a majority of women ages 18-54 are opposed to the HHS mandate.
Using deceptively vague notions about women's rights to sell his deeply unpopular healthcare bill was a slick move. That was, until, the Little Sisters of the Poor finally forced America to call his bluff. You can't really be both preserving women's rights and taking them at the same time. President Obama's own appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, recognized how troubling this is when she issued an emergency stay for the nuns on New Year's Eve, and last week the Court agreed.
I won't do our sex a disservice and try to speak for all women as if women are so easy to speak for. But I will say that women and men have equal rights to religious liberty. All women should have the chance to start and own businesses without fear of exclusion solely because of their religious beliefs. All women should have the right to express their views without being placed in a box drawn for them by the abortion lobby. And any woman should be free to stand in support of religious liberty plaintiffs like the Green family and the Little Sisters of the Poor without being labeled traitors to their sex.
Sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit? Not so much. We're with the sisterhood of the traveling habit, and we'll see you in court.