The Contraception-Mandate Cases Aren’t Really About Contraception

Earlier today, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear not one, but two challenges to the Obama administration’s contraception mandate; they’ll be heard together in an action-packed hour of oral arguments sometime in the spring. Both cases deal with conservatives’ ever-growing penchant for anthropomorphizing corporations—this time, the justices will decide whether companies can be exempted from the mandate to provide birth control at no cost to employees because of the owners’ religious beliefs.

Oddly enough, neither of the business owners involved are Catholic, even though the first objections to the contraception mandate were raised by Catholic leaders, who didn’t want religiously affiliated hospitals and schools to provide birth control, which the Catholic hierarchy considers taboo. One case—Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, documented extensively for the Prospect by Sarah Posner earlier this summer—deals with an arts-and-crafts chain owned by evangelical Christians. The other—Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius—hones in on a smaller, Mennonite-owned cabinet door manufacturer.

Neither of the plaintiffs’ arguments mention doctrinal objections to contraception. That’s because Protestants, unlike Catholics, don’t believe that birth control is immoral. In fact, the denominations’ divergent views on the two issues created a kind of intra-Christian culture war throughout much of the twentieth century. Haunted, in part, by neo-Malthusian fears about the world’s rapid descent into overpopulation, the Church of England officially moderated its stance on contraception in 1930. Over the course of the following decade, most American Protestant denominations followed suit. The Mennonite Church does not have an official stance on birth control.

In the 1970s, the “Masters and Johnson of Christianity,” Ed and Gaye Wheat, published Intended for Pleasure, a bestselling Christian sex manual with a chapter on “planning and achieving parenthood,” with extensive information about artificial contraceptive methods. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, observed in 2006 that although the “birth control revolution…let loose a firestorm of sexual promiscuity,” it also “offered thoughtful and careful couples an opportunity to enjoy the joys and fulfillments of the marital act without remaining at all times equally open to pregnancy.” A Guttmacher Institute report released in 2011 revealed that three-quarters of Protestant American women were using some form of artificial birth control.

When evangelical Christians decided to throw in their lot alongside the Catholic hospitals and schools seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate, their argument was, to put it mildly, a stretch. When Wheaton College, an evangelical liberal arts school in Illinois, asked the Obama administration for an emergency injunction against the contraception mandate last year, it emerged that the college was not eligible because it had “inadvertently” been including emergency contraception in its student health plan.

It should also be noted that neither of the cases that will appear before the Supreme Court are founded on sound science; both allege that emergency contraception—and, in the Hobby Lobby case, the IUD—is a form of abortion. This relies on the notion that pregnancy begins when the egg is fertilized—not, as the medical community contends, when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. This means that regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, the facts of the case will be based on junk science, not theology. The Catholic Church, whether you agree with it or not, has consistently maintained that birth control is a fundamental evil. Protestant attempts to overturn the contraception mandate aren’t about theological objections to birth control—they’re an effort to dramatically expand religious freedom rights for conservative Christians.

Comments

both allege that emergency contraception—and, in the Hobby Lobby case, the IUD—is a form of abortion. This relies on the notion that pregnancy begins when the egg is fertilized—not, as the medical community contends, when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. This means that regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, the facts of the case will be based on junk science, not theology.

I've got to disagree with this. While it is true the scientific definition of pregnancy requires implantation, that has nothing to do with the theological concept of when a new human life begins. If anything, the science involved would probably be to determine when the DNA of the child is fully formed, which I believe happens fairly quickly.

Personally, I don't think a fertilized egg, implanted or not, qualifies as human for several months. Even after becoming human, it is still dependent upon the mother biologically until birth, so she, her family and doctor need to have full control of all health decisions.

The part I take Extreme exception to the total Inaccuracy of is "an effort to dramatically expand religious freedom rights for conservative Christians". Freedom by definition is a question of being able to make certain You get to live according to Your beliefs. Finding a way to control what options Others have Isn't "freedom"; it's an act of Tyranny that Purposefully undermines the freedoms of others (not to mention an example of a feudalistic mindset).

For thousands of years (going all the way back to when capitalism supplanted feudalism in the 13th century ), the social contract between employer and employee has been as follows: the worker provides his/her labor in exchange for financial compensation; the only ethical/moral aspect relates Only to whether an employee's behavior impacts the employer's ability to conduct business.

The ability of an employer to dictate to their employees based on their Own beliefs has Never been a part of the deal but Especially so in recent times. An employer is first limited by the First Amendment rights of their employees and then Further bound by the 1964 Civil Rights Act (the reason why an employer can't even require applicants to even Tell them what religion they practice).

The Only reason why this question isn't more widely challenged is because, even in the courts, some people essentially pledge allegiance to their political party. Any decision is made on whether it increases the power of the party and if it reduces the civil rights of "the wrong sort", then that's a bonus.

So the tyrant that you are will compel a company to pay for their employee's immorality. How beneficient lf you you piece of defecation.

In August, 2011, Rep. Steve King of Iowa said:

“....Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That's not...constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we're a dying civilization.”

What he expressed is the concern that has been the driving force behind the contraception fight for decades...population control and the fear that whites will not remain the dominate race.

While our legislators are upending every hard-earned reproductive right American women have, the United States is an active participant in a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have. The program works to give millions of women and girls throughout the world access to contraceptives.

http://thepoliticalpragmatic.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-birth-control-war-religion-has.html

Funny how only women declare they have reproductive rights as if a father has none. All you do is fight to destroy the family and you have succeded. Half of women today have children with no father present. And these children will be useless to society. Thanks to liberal losers like you.

If as many children were fatherless by war it would be a tragedy of epic historical proportions.

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