contraceptive mandate

One paragraph from the Hobby Lobby ruling destroys the entire liberal “anti-women” narrative

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The instant the Supreme Court ruled on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the War on Women™ was back on. Liberals from sea to shining sea had talking points, Facebook memes, and … narratives ready to go and deployed them in a cascade of messaging discipline. It was truly a sight to behold. You may have seen this particularly nonsensical but effective image shared hundreds of times within 24 hours:

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I mean really. But apart from saying “nuh uh!”, conservatives had little effective response to this narrative. But then Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute’s blog discovered a little-noticed passage in the Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito:

The effect of the HHS-created accommodation on the women employed by Hobby Lobby and the other companies involved in these cases would be precisely zero. Under that accommodation, these women would still be entitled to all FDA-approved contraceptives without cost sharing.

This refers to an exception created by the Department of Health and Human Services that forces insurers to pick up the tab for coverage objected to by religious non-profit organizations and churches. Women employed by these organizations receive the same coverage, medications, and cost-free contraceptives as everyone else as mandated by HHS, even though the organizations themselves refuse to pay for that coverage.

Hobby Lobby reaffirms religious liberty, one of the bedrock principles of the Constitution

For all the things the Hobby Lobby decision does — and you can read Jason Pye’s piece on the relevant parts of Alito’s decision here — there are few things it does that will have reverberating ramifications for the future of everything from defining contraceptives as preventative or abortifacient, to whether or not our Constitution is a flawed document full of “negative liberties” as our President once declared.

But for now, the most important thing to remember is that this image being thrown around social media is a lie:

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It’s a lie on so many levels and it’s tremendously disturbing that the kids are sharing it as truth. First, the opinion is narrow. It applies only to “closely-held” corporations who can prove they have a religious objection. Is your boss the owner of a closely held corporation?

Second, no one is denying you access to anything. You are free at any time to buy any of the four types of products the decision says Hobby Lobby does not have to supply. (Hobby Lobby, by the way, offers 16 other types in their health coverage. Those crazy fascist religious righties.)

Sandra Fluke’s War On Reality

Sandra Fluke

Media darling and left-wing feminist activist Sandra Fluke is yet again in the news. She gave an interview to some CNN program called “Starting Point” that nobody watches, just like the rest of the programming on CNN but I digress. Ms. Fluke had some choice words for Republicans.

“I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift,” said Sandra Fluke.

Sandra Fluke, who rose to national prominence when she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh following her testimony in favor of increased contraception access, said Wednesday that many women personally feel “they’re under attack” from GOP policies.

“When you look at the facts, quantitatively, there have been a record number of bills in the House to limit reproductive health. … Women feel that. I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift, and not in their favor,” Fluke said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

So once again in the mind of Sandra Fluke and other left-wing feminists, women are nothing more than vaginas and uteruses. The only issues that women care about are abortion and birth control in their minds. Something tells me that not necessarily true. Women, just like men, I’m sure care more about whether or not they will have a job in the failed Obama economy for starters. This whole “war on women” is a distraction from the real issues invented by the Democrat Party and their allies in the media and the feminist movement.

Hobby Lobby wasn’t really about birth control, it was about an abuse of government power

On January 8, 2012, former Clinton spokesperson in his putative role as objective moderator of a Republican presidential primary debate fired the first warning shot in what soon became known as the “War on Women.” He asked the candidates if birth control was included in the right to privacy and if states had the right to ban it.

In what was surely a total coincidence (totally, you guys!), just days later the Obama administration would declare the federal contraception mandate for all insurance-providing companies to provide copay-free birth control in their coverage.

The War was on, contraceptives instantly became a legal right (read: entitlement), anyone who opposed forcing companies to pay for them hated women, the term “slut” became both an intolerable slur and a badge of honor, the administration and the courts both carved out religious exemptions that shrill harpies decried as emerging theocracy, and men were suddenly illegitimate politically since only women were justified in voting on health issues.

All of this is, of course, ridiculous. But the issue is now so viscerally charged that it is untouchable in the public discourse. So let’s uncharge it with a hypothetical allegory.

WHAT IF…

As part of a new Healthy America plan, Congress passed a comprehensive nutrition, exercise, and health bill, including a federal mandate for all employers with over 50 employees that requires they have a cafeteria that provides balanced meals to all employees working at least 30 hours per week.

The Supreme Court just handed a huge victory to Hobby Lobby: Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate violates religious liberty

Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court ruled this morning that closely-held corporations with religious beliefs are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and do not have to comply with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate.

In the 5 to 2 decision, the High Court explained that the federal government cannot compel Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties, through tax penalties, to provide contraceptive coverage that they believe is morally unacceptable according to their religious beliefs.

“As we have seen, [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] was designed to provide very broad protection for religious liberty. By enacting RFRA, Congress went far beyond what this Court has held is constitutionally required,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “Is there any reason to think that the Congress that enacted such sweeping protection put small-business owners to the choice that HHS suggests? An examination of RFRA’s text…reveals that Congress did no such thing.”

Alito explained that the business owners in the case make no objection to most forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but rather the four methods — Plan B, Ella, and two forms of IUDs — that they believe prevent the fertilization of an egg. The business owners consider these to be tantamount to abortion and fundamentally inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

Today in Liberty: Hobby Lobby decision coming this morning, Obama taps ex-Procter & Gamble CEO to lead the VA

“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.” — George Orwell

— Obamacare contraceptive ruling expected this morning: The Supreme Court will release its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (formerly Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores) at 10 a.m. this morning. At issue in the case is whether Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate infringes upon religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owner, David Green, who founded the business on Christian values. The Obama administration has exempted some religious organizations, including churches and schools, from the mandate. But businesses are still being forced to offer plans that cover birth control, even if it violates the beliefs on which they were founded. Though the Green family is opposed to abortion and considers certain contraceptives to be morally reprehensible, the case and others like it are about religious liberty. If the mandate stands, Hobby Lobby faces penalties totaling $26 million per year. Most observers, however, expect Hobby Lobby to succeed, though how far the Court will be willing to go remains to be seen, given the implications. We’ll have a story about the Hobby Lobby decision later this morning.

Supreme Court to hear contraception mandate cases

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in two casesSebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialities v. Sebelius — dealing with Obamacare’s controversial contraception mandate.

Though there are some religious exemptions to the mandate, there are no carve outs for businesses that base their operations on their religious beliefs, leaving them to face hefty, potentially crippling fines if they refuse to offer health insurance coverage that covers contraceptives.

The case that has received the most attention is that of Hobby Lobby Stores. David Green, the owner and founder of the crafts chain, argues that the contraception mandate violates his religious liberty under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) because it would force his businesses to offer plans that cover the morning after pill, which, he believes, is tantamount to abortion.

The argument at hand, however, isn’t about abortion, though supporters of the mandate are trying to make it about women’s health. The question is whether the RFRA, which protects an individual’s right to freely exercise their religion, applies to businesses and corporations because of the objections of the owners.

Filings in the case explain that Green runs his business “with religious principles in mind” and points to the company’s mission statement, which commits to “[h]onoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”

The Long, Phony War on Women

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If you haven’t heard, there’s a “war on women” going on. It’s being waged by politicians who want control over women. It’s being waged by power-seeking, petty tyrants who believe women are weak and need their help to live their lives.

But if you think it’s being waged by those evil conservative GOP politicians, whose mission is to keep women in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, married before they turn 21, and popping out a quiver full of babies, your myopic vision is a problem.

The Democrats have created an entire industry from victimhood, and they have been successfully using it to win elections.

Their latest battle is the so-called “war on women,” that they have been touting ever since conservatives raised their voices in protest about having to fund Sandra Fluke’s sexual choices.

Supreme Court issues temporary injunction against contraceptive mandate

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary injunction against enforcement of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate in the waning hours of 2013, a provision of the law that is the subject of a number of federal court cases.

“Upon consideration of the application of counsel for the applicants, it is ordered that respondents are temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U. S. C. § 300gg-13(a)(4), and related regulations pending the receipt of a response and further order of the undersigned or of the Court,” wrote Sotomayor in the order on New Year’s Eve. “The response to the application is due Friday, January 3, 2014, by 10 a.m.”

The case — Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius — deals with a religious charity organization run by nuns who have committed themselves to serving the poor and needy. Among the vows nuns take is a vow of chastity.

Had Sotomayor not issued the injunction, Little Sisters of the Poor would have been subject to the penalties for not offering health plans that cover contraceptives, including the morning after pill, Plan B and Ella, which many consider to be tantamount to abortion.

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court has issued this order protecting the Little Sisters,” said Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the nuns. “The government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people–it doesn’t need to force nuns to participate.”

Christian colleges win court challenge over Obamacare’s contraception mandate

The Obama Administration received another legal blow today over a controversial rule requiring that employers — including many faith-based schools and businesses — provide health plans that cover emergency birth control.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal ruled in favor of two Texas-based colleges — East Texas Baptist University and Houston Baptist University — that challenged the contraceptive mandate on the grounds that it violated religious freedom protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). He also issued an injunction against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the mandate.

“The courts have identified several ‘less restrictive means’ of serving the interests the government has identified than a total denial of the religious exemption request,” wrote Rosenthal, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He identified a few different ways to provide contraception to employees without the mandate.

“The result is to find and conclude that plaintiffs have shown both a substantial likelihood of succeeding on the merits of their claim that the mandate and accommodation substantially burden the plaintiffs’ religious exercise and the absence of a genuine factual dispute material to this determination,” he noted. “The government has failed to show that the mandate and accommodation are the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling government interest.”

In granting the injunction, Rosenthal explained that “[p]rotecting constitutional rights and the rights under RFRA are in the public’s interest.”


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