If you’ve read the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby or the reaction to it, then you know what sparked the lawsuit. The Affordable Care Act says that employer-provided insurance must include essential health benefits, including all medically authorized forms of contraception. The owners of Hobby Lobby objected to this requirement, because they believe that four common forms of birth control — two versions of the “morning-after pill” and two kinds of intrauterine devices (IUDs) — are “abortifacients.” In other words, the owners of Hobby Lobby think these contraceptives end pregnancies rather than prevent them. And they believe that is tantamount to ending a life.
The claim, which you can find on virtually any conservative website, has been making the rounds for a long time. It’s stuck because the science on how these particular drugs and devices work wasn’t that great. But recent advances in medical diagnostics and some ingenious studies have changed that. We know a lot more about how the contraceptives work. We can be very confident that three of the four contraceptives do not lead to abortion, even using the conservative definition of when life begins, and we can be almost (although not quite) as sure that the fourth does not, either.
There are essentially six ways to prevent pregnancy:
- Make the cervical mucus inhospitable (sperm can't get to the egg)
- Inhibit ovulation (prevent the release of an egg)
- Affect fertilization (the ability of the sperm to meet up with and/or penetrate the egg).
- Affect the fertilized egg (prevent implantation)
- Create an inhospitable uterine environment (prevent implantation)
- Affect the implanted embryo
As far as the medical establishment is concerned, pregnancy doesn’t begin until implantation. (In fact, 80% of fertilized eggs never implant.) So under this “medical” definition of pregnancy, only method number 6 — that is, doing something to the implanted embryo — would constitute a form of abortion. But religious conservatives hold that pregnancy and life itself begin at the moment an egg is fertilized. Under the “religious” definition of pregnancy, methods 4, 5 and 6 would all constitute forms of abortion.
What does that mean for the four types of contraception at issue in the Hobby Lobby case? Let’s consider each one.
This is a (sometimes NSFW) webcomic on the Escapist Magazine site called Critical Miss. The focus is usually on games, but they dib-&-dab in social issues sometimes. Like today: Flat Earth Birth Control
From the first panel:
So, the supreme court has has decided that companies can use religious grounds to avoid paying health insurance claims for contraceptives.
Will this effect you?
No, because you’re mutants who will never experience human intimacy.
Sexist, mysogynist, and totally anti science is the best way I can describe this guy. I mean women on Birth Control have green blood? What “science” textbooks is this guy reading? How much do you want to bet that he’s also a creationist?
Arizona Pastor Steven Anderson warned his congregation recently that birth control was not only turning women into “whores,” it was also destroying the country.
Update 5/4/14: BillDilworth just pointed to a link that lead to a science journal article that pointed out that under some circumstances pregnant women and women on birth control can have green blood. Still obviously has nothing to do with being a “sinner,” and it doesn’t make them any less human.
While discussing women’s reproductive health and the government’s role in adminstering health care, a Republican state senator said he believes birth control is used by people “who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly.”
State Sen. Pete Kelly is pushing for a state-wide effort to combat and prevent fetal alcohol syndrome in Alaska by placing state-funded pregnancy test in bars, restaurants and private businesses. But when asked if he would offer the same resources for birth control, Kelly said he does not believe in increasing access to contraception because “the thinking is a little opposite.”
“Birth control is for people who don’t necessary want to act responsibly,” the lawmaker said in an interview with Anchorage Daily News. “I’m not going to tell them what to do or help them do it. That’s their business.”
When asked by the reporter if the act of using birth control itself was a responsible act, he disagreed with the notion.
“Maybe, maybe not,” Kelly replied. “That’s a level of social engineering we don’t want to get into.”
Social Engineering? —how does acknowledging the Right of Individual Choice of Parenthood become Social Engineering. I thought it only became Social Engineering when the State or a Religion mandated the use or non-use of contraception.
National Coalition of American Nuns Announces Support for Contraception Access via Obamacare - Cosmopolitan
Sister Donna Quinn, the head of NCAN, told religiondispatches.org that “it isn’t ‘faith and freedom’ when reproductive autonomy isn’t extended by the Catholic Church to women.” She added, “It isn’t freedom when a woman can be held hostage by the owner of a business.” The petition (which is extremely close to reaching its goal of 5,000 signatures) also had this to say about religious freedom: “We know that religious freedom means that each person has the right to exercise their own religious beliefs; religious freedom cannot mean that an individual or a corporation gets to impose their religious beliefs on their employees.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, next week. Both involve for-profit companies refusing to provide their employees with mandated coverage because the companies’ Christian owners do not believe in birth control. If that sounds stupid and terrible to you, that’s because it is.
The NCAN nuns, though, are amazing. Bravo to Sister Donna and her cohorts for taking a brave and positive stand on this issue.
Criswell and others were leading the charge in an impassioned crusade against legal abortion, creating one of the first evangelical-Catholic coalitions in American political history. But birth control didn’t come along for the ride; it remained, until recently, a matter of Catholic concern. Could the same evangelical reversal be taking place today—this time, with contraception?
Catholics and Protestants weren’t always at odds over the morality of birth control. In the late nineteenth century, it was Anthony Comstock, a fiery Protestant crusader against vice, who lobbied to criminalize contraception as part of a heretical trifecta that included abortion and pornography. The “Comstock laws” of the 1870s outlawed abortion and made it a federal and, in some cases, a state-offense to transport birth control through the mail or across state lines. The laws weren’t dislodged until 1965, when the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that restrictions on birth control access violated the “right to marital privacy, and 1973, when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade.
A virulent wave of anti-Catholicism helped convince Protestant reformers that birth control was a moral imperative. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Catholic immigrants from southern Europe were pouring into the country, and native-born Protestants were troubled by the legions of offspring that was the norm for these newcomers. To white-collar Protestants living in east coast cities, large families were unseemly; children, once crucial sources of farm labor, were an expensive investment. Birth rates among “native-born white” (i.e. Protestant) women plummeted from 7.04 in 1800 to 3.13 in 1920, while the average Catholic woman was still having more than six children. If Catholics continued to reproduce at these rates, the country would be overrun by multitudes of “papists.” “There was a growing concern among Protestants that the wrong people were having too many children,” says Allan Carlson, a historian and the president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. “They were thinking, maybe birth control is the best way to clean up the country and the human race.”
This is the first device for women ever developed that could prevent both.
The flexible, plastic ring contains a 90-day dose of two drugs: the clear segment, a contraceptive .and the white segment, an anti-retorivral drug, which fights HIV and herpes.
Kiser says a condom would accomplish the same effect.
“You can think of this as a kind of a chemical condom,” said Kiser.
But condoms require cooperation of a male partner and the ring doesn’t.
“It will empower them to give them a tool they can use to protect themselves,” said Kiser.
Women are scheduled to begin testing the device this summer. Still, it could be seven years before it hits the market.
Sandra Fluke, infamous victim of Rush’s self destructive “slut shaming”, is considering running for the House in California.
Of course, the mainstream right’s base reacted exactly how you would expect them too - they lost their goddamned minds and spouted hate filled, bigoted memes, most of which have no basis in reality and are disgustingly offensive to everyone not themselves. Of course:
(EDIT: I’ve tried to pick out some of the least offensive and insane quotes from the article, which already picked out some of the least insane and over the top, misogynistic comments from the cesspool that are the mainstream right’s comments pages. However, I’ll use a phrase I absolutely hate and give a Trigger Warning for the below and linked articles.)
amerisad: Another sl u tty politician is just what California needs.
imspartacus: They have Abortion Barbie in Texas, now Condom Barbie in Kaliforinia. The dumocrap party is doing so well. LMAO
Tommie: When will she have time? She will be exhausted. The Navy’s 7th fleet can keep her occupied.
SKinGN: She will be running as the standard bearer for the Slut Party
joeblow: It’s a fluke anybody cares about this dopey broad. Also, why do lesbos need birth control?
SandyH20: This slut and Abortion Barbie in Texas think women are nothing more than vagina’s that others are responsible for caring for!
The GOP’s base wants a war on women, so much that some of them are actively talking about repealing the 19th Amendment. They are trapped in this spiral of stupidity, ignorance, and hate, conditioned to respond to anything with rage and disgust, no matter how trivial… and how made up the trigger.
And worse, the saner heads can’t steer the ship — Fox News, NewsMax, and a host of other professional grifters make so much money off this manufactured outrage that they simply cannot abide anything but the most extreme personalities in the party. We’re literally 2 or 3 election cycles from seeing the GOP become a minor, regional party in America at this point — if Texas flips blue or even heavy purple, it’s game over.
In other words… how’s that rebranding working out for you, GOP?
Justice Sotomayor Grants Temporary Injunction to Catholic Groups Against Filling Out an Obamacare Form
These Catholic nonprofits that wanted an exemption from covering their employees’ contraception needs—and got an exemption from covering their employees’ contraception needs—are now fighting the provision (that exempts them from covering their employees’ contraception needs) simply because they don’t want to have to fill out a form that states that they are exempt. Why? Because their employees need that form in order to get birth control directly from their insurers
Here’s an idea. We’ll grant them their exemption if they can point out the section of the Bible that forbids contraception.
From the youtube video description,
Published on Dec 18, 2013
Video from Puffin Foundation & The Nation Institute
The Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United, is honored by The Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute with The 2013 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship at the Nation Institute’s Annual Gala & Awards Dinner.
Introductions by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood & Neil Rosenstein of the Puffin Foundation.