I find the general reaction to the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case – on both sides – baffling. (The absence of truth-telling by the media probably accounts for much of the misunderstanding involved.)
The ACA mandates that employers must provide free access to 20 different types of contraception for their female employees. Four of these twenty are actually abortion-inducing drugs (abortifacients) – that is, they don’t prevent conception, rather they kill after conception has occurred. Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit did not object to paying for the 16 forms of contraception; it only asked for relief from having to pay for the four that would actually kill a baby rather than keep a baby from being conceived. Yes, Hobby Lobby won but…
– female employees at Hobby Lobby still get 16 forms of contraception for free.
– female employees Hobby Lobby can still have access to the four abortifacients if they or someone else pays for them. The court didn’t rule that they couldn’t have them – only that Hobby Lobby didn’t have to pay for them. (If you have access to 16 forms of contraception, how regularly are you going to need to supplement your choice with an abortifacient?) Moreover, it’s highly likely that the government will decide to pay for them anyway. [July 1, 2014 update: I just read that “a month’s worth of these pills costs nine bucks from Wal-Mart.” Why isn’t the news media doing more to clarify these issues?]
Why are opponents of Hobby Lobby so upset? And why are Hobby Lobby supporters so gleeful?
Yes, this was a victory for freedom of conscience in America – but a minor one. And, the vote was 5-4 indicating just how narrow the victory was.
The victors ought to be thankful, but sober. The losers ought to acknowledge that, overall, they are still pretty much getting their way.