Star Parker

Senate and House Democrats are outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Hobby Lobby in the firm’s lawsuit seeking exemption from the Obamacare mandate that employers provide, free of charge, contraceptives to employees.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid called the Supreme Court decision “outrageous” and Democrats have introduced bills in the Senate and the House to overturn the decision.

Why exactly is it that Democrats find it so outrageous that in America religious freedom is respected? That we have law – The Religious Freedom Restoration Act under which the owners of Hobby Lobby sued the federal government – that assures that no federal law will substantially burden individuals in the practice of their religion. Paying for contraception would violate the Christian principles of Hobby Lobby’s owners.

According to California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer, “….the Supreme Court has decided that the employer – the boss – has total power to deny critical medical care to their employees..”

It has long been a sad irony that liberals, who claim to carry the banner of openness and tolerance, stand for exactly the opposite. The liberal idea of tolerance is “my way or the highway.”

Even if we accept the claim that contraceptive use is not about promiscuity but about family planning, and that this should be provided free, a critical question is whether the only way to accomplish this is for the federal government to force employers to pay for it. And whether forcing employers to pay for contraceptives justifies violating the religious convictions of Christian employers such as Hobby Lobby.

The Supreme Court ruled, correctly, it does not. Particularly when there are many alterative ways to accomplish the same objective. The Court, in its decision, noted that the federal government could directly foot the bill for these contraceptives or have insurance companies directly pay for them.

Even if you believe, as I do, that none of this should be about government or business, and that we should have free markets to deliver to private citizens whatever kind of insurance most appropriately fits their needs, there are still private solutions for delivering free contraceptives for those that feel this is needed.

It is called philanthropy. Americans contributed $335 billion to charities in 2013.

If Senator Boxer or the National Organization of Women really think it is “critical” that a woman get free contraceptives, so how about, instead of using the power of government to violate religious convictions of other private citizens, starting your own charity to raise money and do it?


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.