Update, July 1, 2 p.m.: This Religion News Service article, published in The Washington Post this past January in anticipation of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, explains the controversy about how the words “contraception” and “abortifacient” are used — and, in fairness, demonstrates why my definition of “abortifacient” below is not shared by everyone. (Basically, some say an abortifacient does its work after fertilization of the egg, while others say an abortifacient does its work after implantation of the fertilized egg.) Also available is this New York Times article which annotates the ruling and illuminates some of the nuances of Justice Alito’s thinking. For me, two particularly interesting quotations were, first, “As we will show, Congress provided protection for people like the Hahns and Greens by employing a familiar legal fiction: It included corporations within RFRA’s definition of ‘persons.’ ” And second, “…it seems unlikely that the sort of corporate giants to which HHS refers will often assert RFRA claims.”
Following today’s 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby employees keep insurance coverage for 16 forms of contraception.
Hobby Lobby employees lose insurance coverage for 4 abortifacients.
Contraception prevents conception, which is the fertilization of an egg.
Abortion ends the fertilized egg or the resulting fetus. An abortifacient is a medicine or device that causes abortion, typically in an early phase.
People who believe in government funding of abortions probably will be upset that Hobby Lobby employees have lost insurance coverage for 4 abortifacients.
However, as the phrase “birth control” and the word “contraception” are used in the discussions following today’s SCOTUS decision, a confusion of terms can be very inaccurate.
Owners of the “closely held” company known as Hobby Lobby did not oppose contraception, or the prevention of pregnancy.
The owners of Hobby Lobby opposed abortifacients, or the use of medicine or devices that end the growth of a fertilized egg.
It’s a safe guess that the Hobby Lobby owners believe human life begins at conception, and they believe that based on their religious beliefs.
But it’s absurd to say that the owners get between an employee and abortifacients.
Hobby Lobby employees can still buy abortifacients.
The owners don’t want to contribute to abortifacients, and now, as a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, they don’t have to.
The strange rhetoric of our times often conflates “not paying for” with “preventing.”
This evening, I have not paid for millions of 20-something ladies to have adult beverages.
I guess that means I’m preventing millions of 20-something ladies from drinking.
Oh well. I guess there’s no shorter path to political incorrectness than accuracy.