Matthew Bowman

So defenders of Obamacare’s attack on religious freedom are trying to play semantic games about the destruction of human life. But despite themselves, they backhandedly admit that many “contraception” items cause exactly the kind of destruction of human lives that pro-life people oppose.

Stanford objects that “you can’t terminate a pregnancy that doesn’t exist. That’s what they were getting at when they named it ‘contraception.’” But he is ignorant of history. When modern “contraception” arose in the mid-20th century, leading medical dictionaries such as Stedman’s, Dorland’s, and Blakiston’s defined these terms straightforwardly: conception means fecundation (fertilization), pregnancy is when a woman possesses a child after that, and abortion is an expulsion of that child from the woman.

Planned Parenthood and its allies, and the medical researchers developing contraception, lobbied to change some of these definitions in the 1970s. They knew their “contraception” methods were causing early abortions. (They explicitly intended to prevent implantation as an easy way to prevent born babies.) But they didn’t want the public to think of these methods as abortion. Pro-abortion politics trumped science then, as it has done now with Obamacare’s abortion pill mandate.

But Orwellianism does not become true simply by being widely used. Objections to early abortion pills mandated by Obamacare are based on the fact, agreed upon by both sides, that many of these items destroy young human beings after fertilization by preventing their implantation in the womb. Mandate defenders, including Secretary Sebelius, admit this. They just disagree whether it should be labeled abortion or whether it can trump religious freedom.

The abortion pill mandate is losing in court 12-4 thus far. Its defenders, and even its lawyers, must resort to sophism rather than rationality to justify its attack on religious freedom.


Matthew Bowman

Matt Bowman is senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.