“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.“
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master— that’s all.”
~ Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
In my mind, the Hobby Lobby case is more of an illustration of the lengths that collectivists will go to create an involuntary and coercive “commune” than it is about any other “issue” that has been discussed to date. It illustrates how an individual’s personal decisions (contraception or not, sex or not, covered by insurance or not) become the property of the state the minute the collectivists win.
Recognizing that there are a very small percentage of non-reproductive conditions where contraception drugs can be used as an “off-label” treatment or therapy, the vast majority of contraceptive devices, drugs and abortifacients are prophylaxis for a possible result of sex – pregnancy. With the exception of rape (where I believe the use of drugs like the “morning after” pill, Plan B would be entirely warranted), sex is an elective activity. I’m sure that the feminists and the “progressives” will interpret this as a misogynistic statement, but there is another, 100% effective, preventative measure for pregnancy – abstinence.
In actuality, I’m all for birth control – it has done more to free women (and men as well) and open options for them than almost any single development in the modern world.
But this isn’t about whether or not an individual as the choice or the access to contraception.
Since all these devices are available with or without insurance to anyone of legal age – Plan B is sold over the counter and the FDA has dropped the age requirement – this is not about access to “healthcare for women”.
And what about access to contraceptive devices for men? Condoms are sold in the pharmacy of sections of every grocery store that I have been to in the last ten years. Surgical procedures like vasectomies are often covered by insurance plans – but then are tubal ligation procedures for women.
So if access is not denied or even limited, what is it about?
Some say it is about so-called “discrimination” against women. This is perhaps the most implausible for me to contemplate because it requires that contraception be defined as a necessary preventative measure for a disease, which is not surprising as there are radical feminists who define abortion as a “women’s health issue”, rendering being pregnant with a child as equivalent to a malignant tumor – but procreation is not a disease, it is a biological imperative and is a predictable potential outcome of an elective behavior.
So it isn’t about access or discrimination. It is a little bit about making someone else bear the expense for a personal lifestyle decision that violates the payer’s values.
What many do not know – or simply choose to ignore – is that Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan would provide contraception – what they object to are the usage of certain types that they consider tantamount to abortion, primarily the use of abortifacient drugs.
So it isn’t even about violating the payer’s values, is it? It is at least a little about an employee using a third party, in this case – the government, to force a non-public sector employer to guarantee them anything they want. This has become as simple as taking a child to an ice cream parlor and when they are told that they can have one scoop of vanilla, the kid refuses all of it because they wanted two scoops of chocolate.
Let’s propose a hypothetical.
Let us stipulate that we know that devout members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, refuse to partake of coffee and Coke because their religious belief prevents them from ingesting caffeine. Let us also stipulate that the world headquarters of the LDS Church is in downtown Salt Lake City, housed in a 28 floor building around the corner from the Tabernacle, which it actually is. In that building, many people work, not all of whom are Mormon. Let’s also stipulate that there are various and prolific coffee shops within easy walking distance of this building.
Now suppose that medical science determines that a cup of coffee every morning and the caffeine it contains is actually good for you. Let’s assume that a non-Mormon employee joins the Church of Starbucks and decides it is critical to their health that they have a cuppa Joe during the day. Since there are no coffee station in the LDS office building, they subsequently sue the LDS Church to force them to supply one.
Could the Mormon Church be forced to open a Starbucks in the lobby?
I would say that they would not be because they are not restricting access to something that the employee wants as there are plenty of spots to get coffee.
But as much as this right not to violate one’s religion applies to a church, it also applies to all individuals as well. The Constitution does not stipulate that it is limited to an organized religion. It actually says that “Congress shall make NO law…” thereby universally applying this inviolate right to individuals and organizations not matter how they choose to organize themselves.
There are a myriad of companies out there that voluntarily have complied with Obamacare and cover all contraception possibilities. As far as I know, it is not a requirement that any woman work at Hobby Lobby who doesn’t choose to do so. That is a choice based on the exchange for labor or intellectual property in exchange for compensation (which includes the insurance supplied by the company). Hobby Lobby and companies like them are not mandated to hire anyone or assure anyone who works there a permanent, lifetime job.
So there are a lot of thing this is NOT about. In this contest of rights and obligations, freedom and oppression, there are a lot of things being conveniently defined to promote a specific narrative an agenda. It is about breaking the back of the Constitution to clear the path for a collective, all powerful state that can invalidate an individual’s rights at its whim.
It is, as Humpty Dumpty said, a question of “which is to be master— that’s all.”