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The last few days in the wake of Hobby Lobby have been an educational experience for me.  Many people didn't think the SCOTUS would find in favor of Hobby Lobby purely because letting the personal religious belief's of it's shareholders hold sway would pierce the corporate veil of their being held personally responsible and liable for their companies actions.

I guess we'll see where those chickens come home to roost over the next few years, or possibly decades.


What I've learned is that "Personhood" is like a real thing with some people.  it's not just  the kind of fringy out-of-the-deep-right-field-dogma I might have previously believed it to be.   These people are serious with this shit.

We shall discuss what is and isn't "abortiafacient' across the Orange Diadem of the House of Ravenclaw below...

Hobby Lobby and their personhood supporters have been arguing not just for their own religious "beliefs" but also that Official Medical sources on the subject agree with them.

However, In real life medicine, involving real life Doctors - with degrees and stuff- the definition of an Abortion and/or "abortiafacient" drugs that produce an Abortion  - is the Termination of a Pregnancy.

That's how the American Medical Association, who use the terms synonymously, refer to it.

H-5.983  Pregnancy Termination

The AMA adopted the position that pregnancy termination be performed only by appropriately trained physicians (MD or DO); and encourages any specialty society which has adopted a contrary position to review and modify its position to comply with that of the AMA.  (Res. 520, A-95; Reaffirmed: CSA Rep. 8, A-03)

H-5.993  Right to Privacy in Termination of Pregnancy

The AMA reaffirms existing policy that (1) abortion is a medical procedure and should be performed only by a duly licensed physician in conformance with standards of good medical practice and the laws of the state; and (2) no physician or other professional personnel shall be required to perform an act violative of good medical judgment or personally held moral principles. In these circumstances good medical practice requires only that the physician or other professional withdraw from the case so long as the withdrawal is consistent with good medical practice. The AMA further supports the position that the early termination of pregnancy is a medical matter between the patient and the physician, subject to the physician's clinical judgment, the patient's informed consent, and the availability of appropriate facilities.  (Res. 49, I-89; Reaffirmed by Sub. Res. 208, I-96; Reaffirmed by BOT Rep. 26, A-97; Reaffirmed: Sub. Res. 206, A-04)

It's also how the American College of Obstetrics and Gynocology use the term "Abortion" when they addressed the types of emergency contraception - such as Plan B or Ella - which were objected to by Hobby Lobby because they (assumed they) prevented the "implantation of an embryo".

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.
Because we all know Embryos are People with the Rights to Drive, Vote, Smoke and Join the Army, My Friend.

Let me go one step further, the Webster Dictionary definition of an Embryo is not a fertilized egg - regardless of species - it's something completely different.

Embryo:  noun pronounced ˈem-brē-ˌō\   Definition 2; an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception
So the bottom line in Medical Terminoogy is that an "Abortion" can't happen until a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterus, giving it a chance to grow into an embryo creating a Pregnancy, and that Pregnancy is Terminated.

The simple reason for this distinction is the fact that eggs get fertilized all the time as a result of normal sexual activity, or as a result of invetro fertilization, or even as a result of using the Catholic Church Approved "Rythym Method" - but far less than 50% of them are ever implanted in a Uterus and become a Embryo which could be "Terminated Via an Aborrtion".

Changing the term "Abortion" to include every fertilized egg would a) Make it virtually meaningless and b) Make quite a few normal mentral cycles into "Murder".

This ignores the fact that all "Murders" are not treated the same under criminal law. From Manslaughter to Negligent Manslaughter, Second Degree Murder to First Degree Murder or even Justifiable Homicide - there are differences based on the reality and circumstances that we all - i hope - accept as reasonable in the loss of human life.

A broader, more serious question would be, what is Human Life?

It seems to me that all my cells, while they're functioning and attached to my body, from my hair to my skin, are alive.  Are they Human?  Most certainly.  But would their destruction constitute the destruction of a human life?  Not hardly.  Similarly my sperm or my wife ovum are both Alive as well. They certainly aren't Dead.  So shouldn't we consider the destruction of every sperm and every unfertilized ovum (resulting in a mentral period) to be also some level of "criminal" as well?

Unless you're a member of Monty Python, certainly not.

For this reason, among many others, true "personhood" for a pre-embryonic blastocyst is really, really, severely, intensely dumb.

Yet now, it is the law of the land at least if a for-profit "closely held" corporation says it is, which just shows the danger of allowing a 'deeply held belief' to have sway over - facts.

I mean, I have a "deeply held belief' that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should've inducted Deep Purple long before keyboardist John Lord died, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for the SCOTUS to rule on that issue.

At some point, because i really don't think those who are pro-choice have been fully willing to engage in some of this obsurdity - and for good reason - we may have to begin building the case that a Human Being is something more than a clump of dividing cells.  That if we are going to assign Rights to something, we also have to assign some levels of responsibility, cognition, sentience and autonomy in accordance with those rights.  If my skin and hair have rights because they're alive, what does that mean that they go go off to War on their own now?  That they can get a DUI without me being present?

I don't think so.

We eventually may have to take both a medical and a moral stand on the definition of what is a HUMAN and what isn't, yet.  At the moment, I don't think - in all fairness - that we truly know when an embryo become fully sentient and conscious which in and of itself has developed to the level that it is no longer a "potential" human, it's an actual human not based on a single arbitrary point in it's growth cycle - one which certain doesn't come from the Bible - but based on real concrete science. Eventually we might know exactly that point and we should be ready for it when we do.

And yet, there's more.

Since the Supreme Court argued in Hobby Lobby that the government or else insurance companies could directly provide for this coverege without requiring a co-payment which they agreed was an essential goal of the government, that would not seem to be the case.

At least until yesterday when the SCOTUS found [although this isn't their final ruling] in the Wheaton College case that they didn't need to submit the form to the government requesting they not pay for contraceptive care because they knew if they did, the insurance company would pay for it in their stead - so the idea that you can "just by a supplemental policy" anyway seems to be the consistent intent of the Scotus post-Hobby Lobby.

They seem to wish it to be Hobby Lobby's choice, not to give you any choice, because if they have their way the last thing you'll be able to do is purchase this care "on your own".

But then who cares anyway, it's just "Recreational sex" not essential health care were talking about.

Except that...

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.

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.

And the fact is that contraceptive coveage wasn't included in the ACA to get women to "Vote in 2012" [although Hobby Lobby just might get them to vote in 2014!] it was included because the Institute Of Medicine recommended it to HHS, not Obama.  This is from the Majority Opinion on Hobby Lobby.
As altered by the Women’s Health Amendment’s passage, the ACA requires new insurance plans to include coverage without cost sharing of “such additional preventive care and screenings . . . as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration [(HRSA)],” a unit of HHS.  42 U. S. C. §300gg–13(a)(4).  Thus charged, the HRSA developed recommendations in consultation with the Institute of Medicine (IOM). See 77 Fed. Reg. 8725–8726 (2012).3  The IOM convened a group of independent experts, including “specialists in disease prevention [and] women’s health”; those experts prepared a report evaluating the efficacy of a number of preventive services.  IOM, Clinical Prevention Services for Women: Closing the Gaps 2 (2011) (hereinafter IOM Report). Consistent with thefindings of “[n]umerous health professional associations” and other organizations, the IOM experts determined that preventive coverage should include the “full range” of FDA- approved contraceptive methods.  Id., at 10. See also id., at 102–110.

In making that recommendation, the IOM’s report expressed concerns similar to those voiced by congressional proponents of the Women’s Health Amendment.  The report noted the disproportionate burden women carried for comprehensive health services and the adverse health consequences of excluding contraception from preventive care available to employees without cost sharing.  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”).

Again, that's from the portion of the opinion that was intended to support Hobby Lobby, so the argument that Contraception is not Health Care is just. plain. false.

What we have as a result is a decision which flies in the face of fact and science when it comes to what defines an "Abortion", what defines what drugs like Plan B actually do - which ACOG says is prevent ovulation, thus preventing the possibility of egg fertilization and/or implantation - with a "Religious Theory" which does not fit not just what is known medical science, but also doesn't fit the parameters of what is documented within the requirements and teachers of Christian Scripture.

So I've learned alot lately.  Not much of it was good news.


Originally posted to Vyan on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:32 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  there are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, Samer, SteelerGrrl

    a lot of "fertilized embryos" stored in fertility clinics. I'm pretty sure you couldn't describe the cryogenic containers holding them as being pregnant.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:42:04 AM PDT

  •  SCOTUS has tended to refuse to hear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vita Brevis, SteelerGrrl

    lower court cases that deal with abortion in order to appear that it is leaving it up to the states.  The question is whether they have been setting us all up with false hopes and getting ready to lay the big abortion rights killer egg.

  •  If only they were this passionate about "life"... (4+ / 0-)

       ...when the issue is, say, S-CHIP.

        Fundamentalists are the filthiest hypocrites of all.


    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:49:23 AM PDT

  •  It's all so depressing, infurating (8+ / 0-)

    and I continue to scream "this can't be happening" and yet it is. And we're losing ground daily and I don't understand how.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:51:22 AM PDT

  •  Best response should be: (6+ / 0-)

    Every woman who has had sex is a murderer because most of the time fertilized eggs never implant.

    I use that and they go all "well, that's just part of nature".

    They can't have it both ways.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:54:22 AM PDT

  •  Vyan - the SCOTUS made no final ruling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, Samulayo

    on Wheaton College. That case is still in the appeals process. The Court was responding to a request for an injunction. It has made no final ruling on the merits of the case.

    You might want to edit your diary.

    The idea that the Hobby Lobby decision will make it easier to pierce the corporate veil was clearly the theme of the day yesterday with many people writing about it who have no understanding of how difficult it is to implement if a company is rigorous in its corporate governance. There is no consensus whatsoever among lawyers that Hobby Lobby will have any impact on this issue at all.


    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 08:54:29 AM PDT

  •  They will nullify Roe without overturning it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because women are not humans with rights but corporations are.

    They need Roe for fundraising & making their base turn out to vote.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:38:11 AM PDT

  •  "If I'm paying your premiums, I get to decide..." (4+ / 0-)

    Now that's some BULLSHIT! Premiums are paid as part of your compensation. Saying that employers get to dictate what insurance you buy with YOUR compensation is like saying they get to tell you how to spend your salary.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 10:45:56 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately the employee is not the one buying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the insurance, ACA requires the company to buy the insurance or otherwise be subject to significant penalties.

      A fundamental problem with ACA is it continues to tie healthcare to employers, which was a major problem with US Healthcare before ACA.  

      We should either use single payer or require individuals to purchase insurance through exchanges,  insurance companies or subscriptions to healthcare providers like Kaiser.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 01:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe in a decade we'll have single payer. Maybe (0+ / 0-)

        never. But, in the meantime, the fact remains that health insurance is part of the employees compensation. Administering a benefit doesn't give ownership over that benefit. Writing a check to an insurance company or writing a check for salary doesn't allow you to tell the employee they can only spend their money in ways the employer approves.

        If an employee doesn't like the insurance a company selects, HHS should make a policy that says the employer must give the employee must allow the employee to buy a policy from the exchange instead and give the employee an equivalent amount of compensation to do so as other employees would have gotten (without the religious bigotry waiver).

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 02:06:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  About half right (0+ / 0-)

        My company pays about half what my coverage costs. I pay the other half.  But, they're the company, so they get to decide?

  •  Religious convictions and Constitutional rights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LiberalLoner, Vyan

    Evangelical faith demands aggressive outreach to persuade or compel others to embrace evangelical beliefs and behave accordingly.  The Hobby Lobby decision is predicated on impossible-to-verify, "deep religious convictions" which is a convoluted way of saying, "activists with a cause".  A concession to religious zealots of any faith is reason for concern; give them an inch and they'll take a mile.  Such is the nature of zealotry, Christian, Jewish, Islamic or otherwise.  With respect to the Hobby Lobby decision, Justice Ginsburg  is, "mindful of the havoc the Court’s judgment can introduce".  She's right.  Thanks to Hobby Lobby, any activist with a cause is now in a position to cite "deep religious convictions" as the foundation for a Constitutional right.

  •  What I learned this week from Adam Bonin and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, voicemail, Vyan, RN that thinks


    The Court did not question whether or not the plaintiff's "deeply held belief" that any of the four items named actually caused abortions to occur was indeed true or valid because the defendents (at the State level) did not bring the question up at trial. THEY accepted, at face value, that the plaintiff (Hobby Lobby et al) held a Constitutionally guaranteed "deeply held belief" that complying with this part of the PPACA prevented them from practicing their religion as proscribed by the 1st Amendment.

    So because those original lawyers never asked the plaintiffs to prove in that case that their "deeply held belief" that abortions were caused by these items was factually provable, the SCOTUS was not required to bring the issue up.

    It's legally a moot point.

    That's what I learned from them. But I have a question of my own.

    Hasn't the John Roberts Court, on more than one occasion, brought up a question of the attorneys pleading before them, which was neither asked in the original petition for suit nor brought up during oral arguments in the trial?

    Meaning of course, couldn't one of the Justices have asked the Hobby Lobby attorney if the plaintiffs had ever so much as tried to find out if their "deeply held belief" was actually true? Because even if a person is entitled to believe whatever they think their religion tells them to believe; the rest of us are not forced by the 1st Amendment to believe it, too.

    Meaning that the rest of us should have the Right to challenge such attempts to exercise a 1st Amendment Right in support of some demand for redress of grievance by a citizen (or a citizen corporation, in the 21st century) or at the very least inquire during legal proceedings if the "belief" in question has ever been proven false or true.

    Because some things which people believe for a religious reason may actually be provable to be false in a court of Law. If such is the case, shouldn't the reality of the world have some weight on whether a person's belief should have any legal weight and the ability to physically, legally or otherwise affect some other person?

    I do.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 03:18:17 PM PDT

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