I've been having a good time responding and debunking the various non-factual, untruthful claims of various Twitter Trolls, most have indeed been quite entertaining and also informative [about them], but I've also noticed a very eery almost lock-step similarity in their comments and views.
It's almost like somebody, somewhere, loaded them all up with a giant satchel full of wingnut talking points and sent them out into the world to spread Santa Clause-like, or perhaps more like a Carpet-Bombing B-52, all over the internet and directly into the face of anyone who might dare to say there just might be something ever so slightly-wrong with the Hobby Lobby decision.
And then I found, while looking for the White House's actual response to Hobby Lobby that Professional Right-wingers have been stuffing those bags with rhetorical thought bombs for quite a awhile. Color me surprised.
Over the Squiggle of Dead Game of Thrones Characters - I will attempt a respond to the Washington Examiners response to the White House response on Hobby Lobby.
Consider this my Week 1 One-Stop-Shopping Diary for General Hobby Lobby Decision Debunking for your various and sundry Facebook Frenemies and Tweeps.
White House says...
1. “The Supreme Court ruled today that some bosses can now withhold contraceptive care from their employees' health care coverage based on their own religious views that their employees may not even share.”The Examiner says...
Notice he didn't say “without a co-pay.” He also didn't note that Hobby Lobby was already providing coverage for 16 forms of contraception. Had Earnest mentioned those two key facts, he would have undercut the Left's argument that today's ruling allows employers to “deny employees coverage of birth control.”Ok, the fact of the matter is that the SCOTUS didn't say anything about Hobby Lobby providing Contraceptives "With a Co-pay".
They said this...
But in order for the HHS mandate to be sustained, it must also constitute the least restrictive means of serving that interest, and the mandate plainly fails that test. There are other ways in which Congress or HHS could equally ensure that every woman has cost-free access to the particular contraceptives at issue here and, indeed, to all FDA-approved contraceptives.Again, what the SCOTUS said was "cost-free access" to these contraceptives could be made available in lieu of the previous mandate. This entire idea that Hobby Lobby wanted to let Contraceptives be available with a "Co-Pay" is clearly something that the Right Wing Just Made Up, that's not what either the SCOTUS or Hobby Lobby's attorney - who claimed the Green's hadn't even considered the idea have said.
Hobby Lobby wasn’t telling its employees that they couldn’t seek those contraceptives, just that the company wouldn’t pay for them through its health insurance.In point of fact, Hobby Lobby not only didn't want their employees to get these services, they didn't want them to even Know About These Services as they stated repeatedly in their original complaint.
That’s not the bosses deciding women’s health care decisions, that’s the bosses deciding not to cover something that wasn't previously a required health care service.
8. The administrative rule at issue in this case ("the Mandate") runs roughshod over the Green family' s religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing them to provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.So if Hobby Lobby found education and counseling including all 20 FDA approved contraception methods to be "incompatible and irreconcilable" with the "Hobby Lobby" message - exactly how are we supposed to expect that they'd be totally alright with their employees paying for this coverage, and gaining access to this education and counseling all on their own?
88. The Mandáte also requires group health care plans and issuers to provide
education and counseling for all women benefíciaries with reproductive capacity.
93. No religious groups or other groups that oppose government-mandated
coverage of contraception, sterilization, abortion, and related education and counseling were among the invited presenters.
103. The Mandáte requires that Plaintiffs provide coverage or access to coverage for
abortion-causing drugs and related education and counseling against their consciences in a manner that is contrary to law.
119. Providing this counseling and education is incompatible and irreconcilable
with Plaintiffs' express messages and speech.
The White House.
L2. "President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them."Examiner.
Agreed, but there was nothing in the Supreme Court’s decision that took the decision away from women and gave it to their employer. Women are still free to obtain contraceptives.No, if the employer can object to certain forms a care, not for medical reasons but "religious" ones, and under the Examiner's construction the employee has to pay for the difference out of their own pocket - assuming that's even something Hobby Lobby would agree to since they objecting to women even LEARNING about these methods - then yeah, the employer is making the decision and the employee has to pay the price, if they can afford it that is.
The Price for the Plan B starts not at $9, even at Target, but at $49.99. The price of various IUD's can run from $700-$900 dollars. Even regular oral contraception can average as much as $390. So it's not exactly like an easy cost for some people to absorb.
Now, assuming HHS decides to follow the SCOTUS suggestion of allowing an accomodation where the insurers foot the cost instead of the patient this cost concern is eliminated, but that's assuming that providers would be willing to take on that potential cost for every religious agency and possibly "closely-held" corporation in the Country. And some of those corporations are some of the largest in the nation, like Koch industries. If enough companies go for the religious opt-out what is there exactly that requires the insurers to bother offering these modified - less profitable - policies at such a scale? Just like insurance companies in the wake of a natural disaster, they could just get out of the business of offering plans to these religious corporations entirely.
Isn't the idea that insurers and employers would start a massive death spiral of dropped care one of the primary doomsday scenarios about Obamacare that the Right has touted for years?
And where does that leave these women?
3. “Today’s decision jeopardizes the health of women who are employed by these companies.”Examiner.
Was women’s health in jeopardy before the mandate was applied in 2012?Yes, it was!
As was noted in the SCOTUS decision when it quoted from the report by the Institute of Medicine.
See, e.g., id., at 19 (“[W]omen are consistently more likely than men to report a wide range of cost-related barriers to receiving . . . medical tests and treatments and to filling prescriptions for themselves and their families.”); id., at 103–104, 107 (pregnancy may be contraindicated for women with certain medical conditions, for example, some congenital heart diseases, pulmonary hypertension, and Marfan syndrome, and contraceptives may be used to reduce risk of endometrial cancer, among other serious medical conditions); id., at 103 (women with unintended pregnancies are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, and their children face “increased odbirth and low birth weight”).it's could be not only a serious health risk for women, it could also be a danger to an unintended baby - and we don't want that now do we?
Because if so there might be a lot of human rights abuses to account for, like, why did Obama allow the suffering of women to continue throughout his first term as president?He was doing what he could, the ACA was passed in 2010 - after a year long delay that resulted from repeated and fruitless attempts to get Republicans to engage in the process - which was in fact, during Obama's first term.
If women were in such danger, why wasn’t something done sooner? Doesn’t this make Obama a war criminal in the “war on women”?Someone did try to do something earlier, that someone was Bill and Hillary Clinton. Hell, Nixon tried to do something about it in conjunction with Ted Kennedy. It's not like people weren't trying, but there was one particular political party that was pretty much Dead Set Against it. I wonder who they were again?
4. “As millions of women know firsthand, contraception is often vital to their health and well-being. That’s why the Affordable Care Act ensures that women have coverage for contraceptive care along with other preventative care like vaccines and cancer screenings.”Examiner.
Birth control -- just as vital as cancer screenings. Wait, what? Vaccines prevent diseases like polio and measles; is the White House really making the argument that pregnancy is like a disease to be prevented? Cancer screenings help detect cancer early -- how is birth control just as vital?It's not just the White House that says it, the SCOTUS said it, the Institute of Medince said it, and you even can find confirmation that birth control can help prevent Ovarian Cancer on WebMd.
Taking oral contraceptives (OCs) can slash your risk for both endometrial and ovarian cancer by more than 70 percent after 12 years; even just one to five years may lower your risk by 40 percent.So yeah, access to Birth Control can be just as vital to women's health as Cancer screenings. It can prevent cancer. Let me repeat: Even the SCOTUS acknowledged this fact if you'll re-read above.
When you're on the Pill, you don't ovulate, so your uterine lining doesn't build up as much. In fact, you don't have a true "period" during the placebo phase - just withdrawal bleeding, in which your uterine lining breaks down in response to the drop in hormones. So most OC takers bleed less for a shorter time, and have little or no cramping.
Endometriosis, a condition in which uterine-lining tissue grows in other pelvic areas, can lead to scarring, severe pain, and sometimes infertility. The Pill stops the growth of tissue in other areas by reducing the hormones that cause the lining to build up
5. “We will work with Congress to make sure that any women affected by this decision will still have the same coverage of vital health services as everyone else.”Examiner.
Fact check: Mostly false. Shortly after Earnest’s prepared statement, he was asked whether Obama would take executive actions over the decision.Well, hold on a second. If Obama works with Congress by, for example, repealing or significantly modifying the RFRA which was the problem legislation for the ACA regulation - then the problem is solved. They could also implement the SCOTUS suggested accomodation without the Congress if they can find a way to do it without creating the downward spiral I mentioned above. Showing some caution in doing that before they try to find a permanent Congressional solution is prudent - and in fact there's no reason why they couldn't pursue both paths simultaneously, however the political reality is that if Obama slaps on a quick-fix band-aid - after which Congress would attack him for yet another of his "Executive Actions" - they could then very well proceed to Sit on their Hands and do nothing. That is, after all, what they seem to do best.
Earnest replied: “We'll consider whether or not there's some opportunity for the president to take some sort of action that would mitigate this decision.”
This wouldn’t be the first time the Obama administration sought to mitigate a Supreme Court decision it disagreed with.
On the other hand if we have a different Congress after this November, this could be an entirely different ball game.
The first bill Obama signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, was in response to Ledbetter losing her Supreme Court case against her former employer.So? The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was implemented in the wake of a pair of American Indians who lost their Supreme Court case arguing they were due back Unemployment Benefits after they missed work while out smoking peyote for "religious" reasons. What's you point exactly? Making a law in response to a unfavorable SCOTUS decision is great, except when Obama does it? Or in this case, simply thinks about doing it?
6. “President Obama believes strongly in the freedom of religion.”Examiner.
Insert your own snarky response here.As noted by George Takei via Mother Jones which notes that Hobby Lobby's own deep religious beliefs apparently don't extend to their choice of suppliers (including China, which requires forced abortions on women who already have one child) or in thier investment opportunities (Hobby Lobby's 401(k) is invested in the maker of the exact same Plan B prescription they find the use of "intolerable") I don't think any snark is really need to highlight the depth of their rank hypocrisy.
7. “That’s why we’ve taken steps to ensure that no religious institution will have to pay or provide for contraceptive coverage. We’ve also made accommodations for non-profit religious organizations that object to contraception on religious grounds.”Examiner.
This is what the Supreme Court found so confusing. The Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because the RFRA didn't make distinctions between for-profit and non-profit entities.The RFRA, as noted by the SCOTUS, was implemented to restore the Religious Freedom of Individuals not non-profit or for-profit corporations.
Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.So the idea that it needed to make a distinction between two things that weren't even the subject is just. simply. asinine. The very idea of a for-profit corporation with religious rights hadn't even been contemplated at the time.
And it's not like it hasn't faced challenges before.
In 1997, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio wanted to enlarge a church in Boerne, Texas. But a Boerne ordinance protected the building as a historic landmark and did not permit it to be torn down. The church sued, citing RFRA, and in the resulting case, City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the Supreme Court struck down the RFRA with respect to its applicability to States (but not Federally), stating that Congress had stepped beyond their power of enforcement provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. In response to the Boerne ruling, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in 2000, which grants special privileges to religious land owners.In fact, the RFRA was amended in 2003 so that it only applies to the Federal Government and not States, which means, depending on which states have implemented their own independent version of the RFRA that individual State insurance Commissioners could institute a State Contraceptive Mandate without the involvement of the Federal Government and it wouldn't violate RFRA at all since it wouldn't apply.
8. “But we believe that the owners of for-profit companies should not be allowed to assert their personal religious views to deny their employees federally mandated benefits.”Examiner.
This invites government to make business decisions for companies by mandating all kinds of benefits. If, as the Left claims, the Hobby Lobby decision opens the door for discrimination, doesn't the White House's statement open the door for more government intrusion?It's the government's mandate under the commerce clause to regulate business, so no it's not "government intrusion", it's one level of protection from being forced to QUIT YOUR JOB due to the corporate bullying of that companies employees. Go back and re-read the section where Hobby Lobby didn't want their employees "Educated" on their contraception choices, above.
Additionally that lack of education can prove somewhat dangerous in an of itself since Hobby Lobby's "religiously based" view that emergency contraception is some type of "abortiafacient" isn't supported by the facts or by science.
A common misconception is that emergency contraception causes an abortion. Inhibition or delay of ovulation is the principal mechanism of action (8–13). Review of evidence suggests that emergency contraception cannot prevent implantation of a fertilized egg (1, 12–14). Emergency contraception is not effective after implantation; therefore, it is not an abortifacient.More from ACOG's amicus brief to Hobby Lobby via Irin Carmon on the issue of whether 3 of the 4 objected to contraception methods even inhibit the implantation of a fertilized egg at all.
The baseline question here is whether potentially and intentionally preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg constitutes abortion. That’s not the medical definition of abortion, which is ending a pregnancy. But let’s say your sincerely held belief is that interfering with the implantation of a fertilized egg is tantamount to abortion, as it is for the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood owners. There is very little evidence showing that the objected-to methods – two forms of intrauterine devices and two forms of emergency contraception – even work that way, with the exception of the copper IUD.Hobby Lobby argued repeatedly in their complaint that the prevention of an egg from implanting in the uterine wall was an "Abortion", but actual Ob/Gyn's don't agree with that, and they don't agree that 3 out of the 4 methods Even do that.
There are two kinds of emergency contraception on the market: an over-the-counter one generally known as Plan B and a prescription-only one known as Ella. According to the amicus brief filed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and several other medical associations, “there is no scientiﬁc evidence that emergency contraceptives available in the United States and approved by the FDA affect an existing pregnancy.” Instead, they prevent ovulation, so there is no egg to fertilize. That includes the longer-acting Ella: “There is no evidence that [Ella] affects implantation.”
One form of the IUD, known on the market at the Mirena, includes hormones that prevent ovulation. The other, preferred by women who experience side effects from artificial hormones, doesn’t. “When used as emergency contraception” – i.e., after unprotected sexual activity – “the [non-hormonal IUD] could also act to prevent implantation,” according to the amicus.
Only the Non-Hormonal IUD does. And you know what else does?
The Rhythm Method does.
The rhythm method is believed to work by preventing fertilization from occurring. For this reason, pro-life advocates view the rhythm method as an acceptable form of contraception. The Catholic Church also condones this method because it doesn’t interfere with conception. However, in this week’s Journal of Medical Ethics , an author argues that the rhythm method could actually be responsible for many more embryonic deaths than some other contraceptive methods.So basically the one "safe" method of contraception that most religions and pro-life advocates don't find objectionable, happens to scientifically do the exact same thing as the copper IUD, which they object to so vehemently they've literally made a federal case out of it.
Professor Luc Bovens, of the London School of Economics and Political Science, uses several plausible assumptions to detail his case regarding the rhythm method’s role in embryonic deaths. He suggests that the rhythm method works not because it prevents conception, but because the embryos conceived have limited ability to survive. These embryos, conceived during the few days before or after the period of abstinence are more fragile than those created in the middle of the fertile period. The uterus is less hospitable to these embryos during this time period as well.
And also none of that is an "Abortion".
9. “Now we will of course respect the Supreme Court ruling and will continue to look for ways to improve Americans’ health by helping women have more, not less, say over the personal health decisions that affect them and their families.”Examiner.
Except see number 5, above, in regards to respecting the Supreme Court’s decision.See all the above in regard to the Examiners respect for FACTS.