Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby is not a slap-down of women's rights

Now that the Hobby Lobby court decision has supplanted Iraq as the news story of the week, it's probably worthwhile to ask: Has a woman's access to birth control become that much of a crisis?

To hear the mainstream media, Hillary Clinton and the White House tell it, this 5-4 Supreme Court ruling just turned back the clock on women's rights, sending them -- us -- back to the kitchen, shoeless, soon-to-be-pregnant, and dejected, recalling with teary-eyed timidity the time of equal rights with Man.

Because, of course, such logic goes, free birth control means equal rights.

Hillary Clinton called the ruling "deeply disturbing" and "very troubling," opining during a Live Facebook session about the poor plight of a "sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who [might] need contraception, which is pretty expensive … not going to get that service through her employer's health care plan because her employer doesn't think she should be using contraception."

President Obama, through his press secretary, Josh Earnest, insisted the decision "jeopardizes the health of women," and called on Congress to take actions to circumvent and moot the court ruling. And if Congress won't? There's always the president's famous pen and cell phone trick. Earnest said the ruling could lead the White House to "consider whether or not there's an opportunity for the president to take some other action that could mitigate" it, as various media reported.

Really? An executive order to provide free birth control to women?

If only Obama would take such unilateral action on the Veterans Affairs scandal, or to free U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi from his Mexican captors, or on demanding answers to the IRS targeting of tea party types. 

But this is where the nation is -- torn over birth control and debating the need to provide all types of contraceptives for free for all women. The problem is the far left has turned birth control into a human right, and equated it to a civil rights issue of equality, when really it's not. It's an issue of personal choice. 

Much as the decision to have sex or not is a personal choice. Or, the decision to confine sex to marriage, as a means of procreating, is a personal choice.

Or, the decision to get a job and pay for birth control out of one's own pocket, rather than demanding the government, the taxpayer or the private market sector buy it. All three -- personal choices.

Moreover, not one of those personal choices on that list puts the First Amendment's religious freedom clause in jeopardy. Just think -- that sales clerk at  Hobby Lobby that fueled Hillary Clinton's great concern could make the personal decision to abstain from sex, until such time she could afford to purchase her own birth control. Or, if that option wasn't palatable, she could make the personal decision to find another job that paid more, or take on a second part-time position, in order to pay for her birth control. Either way, it's her choice.

That clerk has the power to decide.

The Supreme Court did not strip this likely fictitious woman -- or any other -- of access to contraception. She can still obtain it. 

There's no civil rights fight to wage. Sandra Fluke, you can go on home.

What the ruling rather brought was a simple reinforcement of the First Amendment, via a common sense finding that a closely held company run by real people with real religious beliefs can, in fact, run their businesses in line with those same religious beliefs. Why is that even controversial?

More controversial is the 2012 regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services that put the country in this mess in the first place with an Obamacare regulation that forced businesses to cover birth control costs. That was the bigger hit to America's political and constitutional system. Even more to truth: Obamacare itself is the root of the problem.

But women's access to birth control?

The Supreme Court's decision doesn't take away that ability. Though businesses now have the right to cite religious reasons as cause to scale back insurance offerings on some types of contraception, nothing in the ruling prevents a woman from obtaining any type of birth control she wants.

She may just have to find a way to pay for it herself.

And forgive the question -- but what's so unconstitutional about that? 

1 comment:

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