Why Hobby Lobby Is Not an Assault on Women
The reactions from the progressive side of the fence to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. was stunning. The spin is that American women have been stripped of fundamental constitutional protections. Sandra Fluke at The Washington Post’s blog claimed that “[t]he Hobby Lobby case is an attack on women.” The White House lamented that the decision “jeopardizes the health of women employed by these companies.” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, according to CBS News, opined that “[t]his ruling goes out of its way to declare that discrimination against women isn’t discrimination.”
So in what nefarious way did Hobby Lobby and other Christian-owned businesses conspire with five members of the Supreme Court to discriminate against women and impair their health? The business owners simply objected to paying for health insurance coverage for four birth control methods that prevent a fertilized egg from developing by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus. Because they believe that life begins at conception, the Christian business owners felt that they would be aiding and abetting the murder of unborn children if they funded these methods. The owners are not against all contraception and voiced no objection to the 16 other FDA-approved birth control methods that health insurance plans must provide under Obamacare. In essence, these Christian villains simply objected to being forced to provide what they viewed as abortifacients.
In interpreting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), the Court simply held that the Christian business owners do not have to pay for the four methods that they believe induce abortion. The Court assumed that the government had a compelling interest in providing cost-free contraceptives but found that the mandates of Obamacare were not the least restrictive means in furthering that interest. This is that statutory test that Congress requires in a RFRA analysis.
This decision does not open the door for large corporations and others to successfully invoke RFRA for evil purposes. Remember:
- Key to the Court’s decision was that Hobby Lobby and the other companies were closely held and had an established policy of Christian business ethics.
- In finding that the means were not the least restrictive, the Court pointed out that the federal government already has a health insurance accommodation set up for nonprofit organizations that object to certain contraceptive services. The government has a ready-made vehicle whereby it can channel certain insurance claims made by Hobby Lobby employees. Yes, the government has to pick up the tab, but it is already doing so for many other organizations.
Sadly, any decision or act that does not further the agenda of making abortion easy and costless (monetarily) is vilified by the progressives. Hobby Lobby is a limited decision that gave relief to Christian business persons who did not want to aid and abet the termination of human life. Women working for the businesses and desiring the “morning after pill” can still obtain it. Right now they have to pay for the medicine with their own money (apparently unheard of in America) and most likely will soon be able to get the pill for free once the feds channel them into established programs.
Left-wingers, get a grip. The sky is not falling.