The GOP and Christian right hate the Affordable Care Act for many reasons. But chief among them is their opposition to the requirement that good Christian employers are now required to provide, as part of their health benefit package, free contraception. Rather than seeing, as do the insurance providers, the economic and health benefits of fertility control, free birth control is viewed as encouraging slutty slut women to engage in dirty, wild sex. These good Christian employers also feel that emergency contraception and IUD's are the devil's work because they cause abortions - a belief held by the Catholic Church and some evangelicals but not the medical community. But that doesn't stop Fox News from enabling the false meme that abortion drugs are now covered by the mandate. Yesterday, Fox "news" host, Gregg Jarrett not only continued the lie but embellished it with another lie!
On alleged "news" show, America's Newsroom, Gregg Jarrett reported that the retailer, Hobby Lobby is appealing a federal court decision which denied their request to block the part of the Affordable Care Act that, according to Jarrett, requires them to "provide abortion pills in its coverage." He introduced his first guest Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the right wing Christian legal advocacy group, the AmericanCenter for Law & Justice. Garrett claimed that "it is widely considered, especially the week-after pill, an abortion inducing type drug but the US lawyer in court said that the drugs do not cause abortions and the US therefore has a compelling government interest."
Scuse me? "Week-after pill?" Uh, there is no such thing. Emergency Contraception is the "morning after pill" because it has to be taken within a certain time period. Jarrett's assertion that emergency contraception is "widely considered" to be an abortion inducing drug might be valid for those who are "pro-life" but the medical community certainly doesn't have that view. As far as the opinion of Americans, there doesn't seem to be any relevant polling data for a drug that it popular.
Sekulow, invoked the "religious freedom restoration act" in arguing on behalf of Hobby Lobby and noted that Hobby Lobby isn't contesting coverage of all birth control except the "week-after pill" which doesn't exist. He claimed that even in cases where individual states had mandates private companies were exempted. (Wrong, only religious employers). Jarrett said "sure" when Sekulow referenced how corporations have freedom of speech "and there's a real argument to say that they have the free exercise of religion." Jarrett then pointed out that the judge in the Hobby Lobby case ruled that the company isn't a religious organization but "that doesn't mean that their first amendment rights are any less infringed upon by Obamacare."
Anne Marie McAvoy, former federal prosecutor, asked if the rights of those who work for and run Hobby Lobby "get factored in or will this be exemptions, exceptions that are only for religion organizations." She claimed that it is "very difficult to draw that line" and brought up "conscientious objection" for those whose religious beliefs are contrary to the administration's policy. After Jarrett predicted that this will go to the Supreme Court, Sekulow reported that there are 40 active cases and three courts have ruled in favor of the private companies. He noted that this judge is the first to deny the injunction. Jarrett asked McAvoy if congress could "carve out an exception." She said that they could and that would eliminate the need to go to the Supreme Court. She noted that there is a bill pending that would allow employers to file an affidavit saying that they are conscientious objectors to the policy. Jarrett said "it's a bipartisan bill."
So if Christian employers want legal protections against providing free birth control coverage, what's to prevent any employer from not covering anything that's against their "religion?" What about the right of a woman who isn't a pro-life Christian to access the same kind of reproductive health care received by woman who work for enlightened employers? In his zeal to cheerlead for the anti-choice Christians, Jarrett didn't address those issues on the "fair & balanced" Fox News.
Note - The "Freedom of Conscience" "bi-partisan" Bill, referenced by Jarrett, had 10 Democratic (the remnants of the pro-life "blue dogs") co-sponsors, three of whom will not be in the 2013 Congress. Since March 2011, it has been languishing in the House subcommittee on health.
1) Twenty years from now, Obama will be remembered as having been the President who finally succeeded in elevating the USA to a level closer to that of a civilised country. Next step should be gun control to keep arms out of the hands of the crazies.
2) Four years from now, if actually put into practice, obamacare will have become just as enshrined in American reality as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Next step should be better education and information, including some limitations on inventing stuff.
Maybe a little perspective will help them out without us getting proactive…
I’m about to a point where all these Christian Talibanists need to be rounded up and taken to Saudi Arabia or Iran where they can learn how tough it is to be a Christian where their religious principles really are ignored (or even punished) by the government. Let them spend a decade or so in a country where they’re really forced to worship in hiding and their beliefs are kept silent from the public-at-large, and they might finally understand the kind of whiney runts they’ve been. (Of course, I’m not sure the potential host country would be willing to accept them but who cares?)