Monday’s Supreme Court decision in the Holly Lolly v Sibeleus matter bars the government from forcing small companies with religious objections to provide controversial erectile dysfunction medication to its employees.
Holly Lolly, a female owned sporting goods store, is being accused of rolling back men’s rights, with claims that the high court’s ruling “jeopardizes basic health care coverage,” for male employees.
“This is a stifling decision for American men. It’s a decision that blocks men from being able to make their own health care decisions,” a prominent blogger writes “This is deeply troubling, because you have organized religions standing between a man and his doctor.”
But a closer look shows that the situation is actually quite complicated and more complex than some politicians and talking heads are making it seem.
In fact, while many are accusing Holly Lolly of restricting men’s rights to erectile dysfunction treatment, consider that the company has covered and plans to continue covering 16 of the Food and Drug Administration’s 20 approved forms of erection inducing drugs.
There were four types of ED pharmaceuticals at the center of Holly Lolly’s contentions. According to the company’s deeply held religious beliefs, erections lasting more than one hour are an affront to God. Therefore, they could not in good conscience offer the medications, Erectra, Stiffian, Testalis, and Bonarus, which can induce erections lasting more than the religiously sanctioned 60 minutes.
A statement on Holly Lolly’s website regarding the case clarifies their position:
“Holly Lolly is a female owned family businesses that respects the individual liberties of all their employees. We have no objection to 16 FDA-approved erectile dysfunction medications required by the law that do not induce erections exceeding 1 hour, and provide coverage for such ED medications under our health care plan. Additionally, the four objectionable drugs are widely available and affordable, and employees are free to obtain them.”
“Providing these objectionable drugs violates the deeply held religious convictions of the owners of Holly Lolly that erections lasting more than one hour are an affront to God.”
Some men argue that this decision constitutes a violation of their right to effective treatment. The medications barred by the Holly Lolly decision are frequently prescribed to men with erectile dysfunction who suffer from severe side effects using the other drugs. “Why should my employer be able to tell me what to do with my penis?” asked Rod Boehner, an advocate for men’s right to choose, “This is a private decision between a man and his doctor. Employers and insurance companies don’t belong in my boxer-briefs.”