The so-called 'contraception mandate' has been an issue on which the Left has lied with exceptional fervency since the administration first released its controversial regulation in 2012. For reasons we explained yesterday, the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was a narrowly-tailored exercise in judicial restraint. Listening to some on the Left, though, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Court had outlawed womanhood itself. The outrage flowed from the cynically deceitful to the mindless, reactionary, under-informed masses, on whom said cynics rely for votes. Elected Democrats got the ball rolling with a string of deeply misleading, paint-by-numbers "war on women" and anti-corporation slogans:
It's time that five men on the Supreme Court stop deciding what happens to women.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 30, 2014
Can't believe we live in a world where we'd even consider letting big corps deny women access to basic care based on vague moral objections.— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) June 30, 2014
Leave it to Harry Reid to make the cheapest argument imaginable, which naturally fails to mention that a key related ruling against the overreaching mandate at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was handed down by Judge Janice Rogers Brown, an African American woman. It's time that our white male Senate Majority Leader stop telling black woman jurists how to do their jobs. And I, for one, "can't believe we live in a world" in which a privileged white woman can shamelessly traffic in an entirely unsupportable "ethnicity" claim throughout her career, drop the pretense once she's reached the pinnacle of her profession, and still get elected to the United States Senate as an anti-privilege, populist liberal. Nobody is deciding "what happens to women," nor is "access to basic care" being "denied." Women managed to obtain and use birth control without incident for decades leading up to the 2012 regulation issuance, and they will continue to do so. We've returned to the pre-2012 status quo in which (a) birth control is legal, accessible and affordable, and (b) a relatively small handful of religious employers are not coerced by government to pay for something that violates their beliefs. The Hobby Lobby decision upholds the principle of keeping the government (and your boss) out of your bedroom. "Contraception is none of my boss' business!" and "my boss must pay for my contraception!" are incompatible. Imbecilic "slippery slope" arguments about the medical dystopia that could arise from yesterday's precedent ignore the Court's explicit admonition that its ruling does not apply to other mandates, and that a refusal to subsidize other forms of care would not be supported on religious objection grounds. They also ignore the majority's strict scrutiny National Review's editors summarize things clearly and succinctly:
Women who work for the plaintiffs, Hobby Lobby, remain able to use their employer-provided insurance coverage to finance the most popular forms of contraception. They remain free to use their wages to finance the ones Hobby Lobby will not cover. They remain free to find other jobs, too, if they want employer-provided insurance coverage that includes the abortifacients to which Hobby Lobby objects. Congress remains free to enact a new law that requires employers to cover abortifacients and contraceptives and explicitly rules out any RFRA exemptions. It remains free, for that matter, to repeal RFRA altogether.
Speaking of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Hillary Clinton has pronounced herself scandalized by SCOTUS' decision that applied and upheld that law -- which, as we discussed yesterday, was signed by her husband after sailing through Congress with three total 'no' votes. Her comment on the issue, which Allahpundit characterizes as stopping an inch short of "comparing the Roberts Court to the Taliban:"
“You watch women and girls being deprived of their rights, some of them never have them, some of them lose them. Among those rights is control over their body’s, control over their own health care, control over the size of their families. It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic, and frankly prone to extremism. Where women and women’s bodies are used as the defining and unifying issue to bring together people – men – to get them to behave in ways that are disadvantageous to women but which prop up them because of their religion, their sect, their tribe, whatever. So to introduce this element into our society…it’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception."
Hillary either doesn't know, or doesn't care, that Hobby Lobby already offered its employees coverage that included 16 types of contraception; their lawsuit was over having to pay for a small number of forms they consider to be abortifacients. And this isn't a matter of whether or not an employer thinks an employee "should be using" a product. It's about being compelled to pay for that product, under threat of heavy fines. (Perhaps Mrs. Clinton feels like she must make over-the-top overtures to her base on flash-points like this to distract them from the fact that she's still quasi-defending her Iraq war vote). I'll leave you with these videos taken outside of the Supreme Court yesterday, via the Daily Signal and Pocket Full of Liberty:
Reminder: Huge majorities of Republicans, Independents and Democrats are totally fine with birth control. This debate is not about the moral acceptability of birth control, or women's freedom to procure and use it as they see fit. Also, Hot Air covers a lefty law professor lamenting his side's stupid demonization of the Roberts Court. Two other liberal legal experts have been straying off the reservation on Obama's overreach, as well.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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