Postal Contraceptives Are the Future

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


When we last met, both the federal government and the Little Sisters of the Poor had submitted their homework assignments to the Supreme Court on the issue of health coverage for contraceptives. Should the Sisters be required to fill out a form saying they declined contraceptive coverage? That would be cooperating with evil. Should they be required to do nothing, with only their insurance company required to provide notification? That has problems too. Still, the briefs had been submitted and the court now had its second chance to do its job and decide the issue for good. Instead we got this:

The court punted the issue back to lower courts, and said its unanimous ruling “expresses no view on the merits of the cases.” In the unsigned opinion, the court emphasized: “In particular, the Court does not decide whether petitioners’ religious exercise has been substantially burdened, whether the Government has a compelling interest, or whether the current regulations are the least restrictive means of serving that interest.”

They have decided nothing. Nothing! Without Anton Scalia around, they’re flailing helplessly. Either they’re hopelessly deadlocked 4-4 and are buying time, or else they really need a foil to inspire them.

I do sort of wonder what’s going on here. I suppose it all has to do with self-insured entities, just like the feds warned. If, say, a Catholic hospital self insures and chooses not to provide contraceptive coverage, then it really doesn’t matter if they fill out a form or not. Who’s going to provide the contraceptives? There’s no separate entity to do it.

I’m curious: how does this work in other countries? They have Catholic hospitals, don’t they? And Catholic charities. And so forth. And health coverage is universal, and I imagine some (most?) countries cover contraceptives in their universal coverage. What’s the Catholic Church’s take on all this? Is the United States the only country they’re mad at?

So what’s my solution? The Post Office. Hear me out. There are lots of fans of postal banking out there. I keep asking why anyone thinks the Post Office is especially well suited to the task of banking, and the usual answer is that they have lots of buildings all over the country. I guess buildings are the main qualification for providing banking services. So why not postal contraceptives too? We could train some postal workers in each Post Office to become specialized contraceptive nurses, and then provide everything free of charge right there. Pills, IUDs, implants, whatever. Are you with me on this?

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate