Two sides met today in a great battle at the Supreme Court to decide whether for profit businesses have the right to decide whether or not birth control should be a mandatory part of every company’s insurance plan. At least, that’s what most of the country believes that the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases are about. Today, however, some people were apparently watching some very different oral arguments.
Here are three things that apparently are being considered in the Hobby Lobby lawsuit that the rest of us missed the memo about:
Euthanasia: Did you know that the Affordable Care Act now mandates employers provide birth control, abortions and euthanasia? Neither did I. Luckily, Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano figured it out in time to tell the rest of us. According to Salon, Napolitano told Fox News host Megyn Kelly, “As everybody knows, the Affordable Care Act requires anybody that employs 50 or more people to provide healthcare for them that includes contraceptive services. Contraceptive services means contraception, euthanasia and abortion.”
Contraception, the last time I — and most medical professionals — checked, means to “stop conception.” I could be wrong, but once you are to the point where euthanasia is an option, you are probably long, long past preventing conception.
“Anti-life drugs“: Of course, euthanasia is an honest mistake once you start following the logic of Americans United for Life, who has declared any form of contraception to be “anti-life” because it stops a life from being created. Which, yes, that’s the whole point of pregnancy prevention. But if you fall for that, you are falling for the “con” of contraception, according to Charmaine Yoest. “What could not be won at the ballot box is attempted in the big Con, mislabeling life-ending drugs as ‘contraception,’ providing new income streams for an industry that deals in destruction and confusing the debate by conflating healthcare with anti-life policies.” She also argues that pregnancy begins far before you see a big + sign on a pregnancy test, which in essence makes every ovulating person potentially pregnant from the moment ovulation begins to the beginning of a period, if we aren’t allowed to assume a negative pregnancy test means not pregnant anymore.
If you are still confused as to what does and doesn’t count as “life ending” drugs in AUL’s view, this tweet should clear things up for you.
— AUL (@AUL) March 25, 2014
“This is an abortion case.“ It’s not. This case is about preventing pregnancy, either through birth control pills, emergency contraception, long term reversible contraceptives like IUDs, or even sterilizations, all of which have significant out of pocket costs involved, even if they save insurance companies (and employers) more over the long term by not paying for maternity costs, health costs for subsequent children, maternity and paternity leave and sick time. Unfortunately, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote on whether or not the companies have the right to opt out of the mandate due to “deeply held religious beliefs” seems to be under the impression that this could open up a door to funding abortions. “[T]hen he made a statement that will likely doom the government’s case,” writes Ian Millhiser at Think Progress. “‘Your reasoning would permit’ Congress to force corporations to pay for abortions….” Millhiser concludes, “Kennedy did something different, he did not weigh in on the question of whether non-abortions can count as abortion — indeed, he seemed to understand the difference between birth control and abortion. Nevertheless, he looked at the government’s requirement to provide birth control coverage and envisioned a future law compelling Hobby Lobby to pay for actual abortions…”
In other words, Hobby Lobby and their religious freedom followers didn’t have to make the argument that they believe birth control is an abortion, because Kennedy was willing to jump right to the end and say “if they have to ‘pay’ for coverage that includes birth control, why not abortion as well?”
So what are the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases about, if not abortion, euthanasia, or the “anti-life” con? To put it simply, it is about a group of companies sought out by a legal team to find another way to try to pull apart as many pieces of the Affordable Care Act as possible. That the same groups championing “religious freedom” of corporations were the ones fighting against the implementing of Obamacare to begin with isn’t an accident.
It’s not about corporations having consciences. It’s about still trying to undermine the effectiveness of health care reform by trying to find opportunities to get out of providing coverage. So the next time they say “birth control isn’t health care,” remember they don’t want affordable quality health care coverage at all.
Photo credit: Wikimedia commons
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