The first thing to note is that this is not a First Amendment case. The Supreme Court did not find the mandate unconstitutional. Instead the Court found that, as applied to closely held family owned companies, the mandate did not meet the requirements of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of1993, which passed Congress with a nearly unanimous vote in both chambers. However, in 1997 the Court found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was unconstitutional in its application to state laws.
The law on which this decision is based requires that when a person's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by a law of general applicability, the government may impose that burden only when it can show a compelling interest and then only by using the least restrictive available means. However, this requirement can only be applied to federal laws and not to state laws by the 1997 decision.
That last wrinkle will turn out to be important in this case since twenty-eight states have a contraception coverage mandate in their state insurance laws or regulations. Ordinarily a Court decision of this type would automatically invalidate those laws, but not in this instance where the decision is based on a law that can only apply to federal statutes.
Will Hobby Lobby have to sue in twenty-eight states? It's not clear at all what the implication of this decision will be for state mandates.
Their position is not directly about sex. Rightly or wrongly, they think that a fertilized egg is a person at the very instant it is fertilized. Though there is no justification for it in the Bible, the courts do not engage the validity of a personal religious belief. Also rightly or wrongly, they think that the four types of birth control they find objectionable cause abortions by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. Based on this thinking, when a woman takes, say, Plan B the morning after taking part in unprotected intercourse, she might already be "pregnant" according to the Christian Right's definition. They assume further that every fertilized egg becomes a fetus and eventually a baby, though perhaps as many as 40% do not successfully implant and develop. So according to their tortured logic, the woman who takes Plan B might be aborting a "child."
I see this as flawed reasoning not because of their religious based disapproval of abortion but because of their rejection of science. To make their argument requires three different definitions of person: a human being, a corporation employing thousands, and a microscopic speck of tissue.
Three of these things are not like the others.
I have read that it can take from 24 to 48 hours for cell division to begin once a sperm penetrates an ovum. Fertilization doesn't begin in an instant.
So where is the "person" during that time? It's still differentiated cells, as far as I'm concerned.
And why do these people care so much about a fertilized ovum, but can't be bothered to adopt an unwanted baby once it's born? I don't see people standing in line at family planning clinics, offering to adopt the result of rape or incest, or just because the birth mother is too young and inexperienced to raise a child on her own.
I remember vividly that before Roe v. Wade, a shotgun wedding was the usual result of an unplanned pregnancy...and it usually eventually resulted in divorce, and/or physical abuse, or both, and sometimes murder.
You are right....these bigots idiots people don't want to think about science. It's "dirty."
I also recall seeing ancient drawings of sperm cells with whole human infants enclosed in them....a sperm was supposed to be the entire seed, like a carrot or a radish, and ova were just the "dirt" they were "planted" in. Until, of course a child of the "wrong" sex was born. THEN it was the woman's fault. Some people still believe that rot.
That's the rejection of science that is routine among the members of the Christian right. They think "life begins at the moment of conception" is a scientific fact. And hundreds of years ago it was believed that sperm contained a microscopic, fully formed person called an "homunculus."
I don't know why they have an obsession out of abortion--except that racism of the 1950s fundamentalist movement is no longer openly acceptable.
Poser for those here assembled:
How do you think this decision would have gone if the Supreme Court reflected the current American population distribution as regards men and women? Any guess? Any at all???
Depends on who the women are. Bush 41 found an ultra conservative black justice. No doubt the GOP could find ultra conservative female justices. They are probably grooming a few in Kansas as we speak.
Justice Bachmann and Justice Palin.
Here is yet another instance in which the taxpayers will be paying (subsidizing) big business! The administration will indeed provide coverage at the taxpayers' expense. I'm not against our doing that, but it should come out of Hobby Lobby's pocket rather than mine. The same goes for the fact that in a nearby town they recently opened a store (which is unfortunately very popular) and provided 60 jobs. Sounds great except that all of these are part time jobs so rather than earn a decent living wage, some of these people will have to again be subsidized by taxpayers. This is no "Mom and Pop" little family owned store. This is a huge business whose bottom line is being padded by all of us.
Not that many if any of us patronize Hobby Lobby, but let's let them know that their BS is not wanted here:
Boycott Hobby Lobby petition.
signed, because fuck hobby lobby!
Hobby Lobby's retirement plan invests in companies that make contraceptives. "
When Hobby Lobby filed its case against Obamacare's contraception mandate, its retirement plan had more than $73 million invested in funds with stakes in contraception makers"
Ooooooo, ironic much? Conflict of interest much? This is almost as funny as all those homophobic congressmen who get found in the parlor with their boyfriend!
Bingo. But it went all the way to the Supreme Court, and they won.