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Well, this is certainly an "interesting" development: As I have discussed in my blog and numerous posts, Hobby Lobby's "sincere belief" that the 4 birth control methods in question are "abortifacient" has no basis in scientific fact. But, the Supreme Court said "the facts are irrelevant" and ruled in H.L.'s favor based purely on their "belief." OK.

However, people uneducated in medicine are now telling me: "But, it MUST be TRUE or else why would the Supreme Court rule in their favor?!" WHY indeed?!

So once again, just to try to clear up the FACTS here - as distinguished from "beliefs" - please read this blog post. And please especially note, in paragraph 3, the link from the PRO-LIFE DOCTORS who have done the most thorough analysis of the data I have ever seen on this subject, and concluded that the drugs are NOT ABORTIFACIENT in any sense of the word, including they do NOT prevent implantation!! Again, these are PRO-LIFE OB/GYN doctors who have a serious commitment against abortion, therefore if THEY say the methods are NOT abortifacient, then I think we can believe them.

As discussed in my previous post Down The Rabbit Hole, I found it quite disorienting, to say the least, when the Supreme Court ruled that the facts in the Hobby Lobby case were "irrelevant."  What I did not anticipate was that people would then interpret the decision to mean that Hobby Lobby's argument was TRUE.  But, I guess it makes sense, right?  After all, surely the Supreme Court would not have ruled in Hobby Lobby's favor if their premise - that these medications prevent implantation - was false!  If we can't trust the Supreme Court...?!

Maybe the Justices really didn't know the facts??  Not if they read the amicus brief that was submitted by ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) which said, among other things:

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.
This is from in January 2014, "Will the Supreme Court Ignore the Evidence?":
The Greens may be sincere in their religious beliefs, but to the extent that their “religious beliefs” are actually scientific claims, courts should require them to provide evidence to support those claims just like any other factual question. And in this case, the Greens’ supposed religious beliefs are actually no such thing—they are sincerely held, but wrong, scientific views. And should the Supreme Court rule in their favor, it will have signaled to every subsequent litigant that science has no place in the courtroom. That should scare us all.
They did. And it does.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Truth , told to take a back seat and stfu . (7+ / 0-)

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:29:02 PM PDT

  •  As was clarified a few days later (10+ / 0-)

    The Hobby Lobby opinion covered all methods of birth control. Hobby Lobby can still cover what methods they desire and exclude the others, but legally they can now exclude them all.

    The science was not an issue for the Supreme Court to address, as a matter of law, much like whether the Hobby Lobby owners really have a "sincerely held religious belief". A few writers here have covered this specific topic well. I'll see if I can find one of the better comments and post it.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:34:02 PM PDT

    •  yes, I saw that the ruling was extended (3+ / 0-)

      to cover ALL forms of contraception a few days later.

      What I am saying that I have a problem with is,
      "The science was not an issue for the Supreme Court to address."

      If an argument was based on a factually incorrect premise (as it was in this case) then SCOTUS should have had to address that, so as to avoid the kind of confusion that has now ensued, where people believe that the Court has, in fact, upheld the faulty premise.  

      I would feel much better about the situation if the Court had at least clearly stated for the benefit of the public, something to the effect of, "We are deciding in Hobby Lobby's favor EVEN THOUGH they had the facts wrong."

      I would like to see the other writings on this if you can find the link.  thanks!

      •  Those claims had to be addressed at the trial (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metalnun, FarWestGirl

        court level, which is the finder of fact. The SCOTUS, and all appellate courts, only deal with matters of law. The issue of the factual basis for the objection was addressed in a footnote in the majority opinion.

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:27:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and I would like to see a Constitutional... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metalnun, FarWestGirl

        ... amendment requiring all legislation, executive acts, and decisions of courts of law, to comport with or at minimum not contradict, empirical facts established by peer-reviewed science or by the application of methods that are established by peer-reviewed science.

        "Wrong on facts" would be grounds for invalidating legislation, appealing court decisions, etc., and the USSC as final arbiter would be bound by facts as well.

        That would also hastily dispatch the nonsense assertion that a zygote without a brain qualifies as a "person," any more than a random cell that could be used to grow a clone qualifies as a "person."

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:56:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, that is no so. To ignore the science is to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metalnun, FiredUpInCA, FarWestGirl

      ignore the very foundation of the claims made by the Hobby Lobby corp.  their religious beliefs centered on abortion.  They claimed that certain methods of contraception were, in fact abortifacients.  If they were not, then an insurance policy providing these methods of contraception could. Or in any way implicate the a Greens' claimed religious qualms.  If your position is in any way correct, then there is. No limit to what any claimed religious qualms could stop.  And not just with health insurance either.  In the absence of a factual nexus between the religious qualm and the insurance coverage, there is no proper claim under the RFRA.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:23:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SC - that issue had to be pursued at the trial (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metalnun, FarWestGirl

        court, which is the finder of fact. Once cases move to the appellate court, and to the SCOTUS, those courts only deal with matters of law. I think most people don't understand that there are many issues that appellate courts can't opine on, once the case reaches that level. Much of the criticism in Hobby Lobby (and I didn't agree with the majority) was directed at issues the Court had no jurisdiction over. That criticism should have been directed at the administration who didn't challenge any of the issues at the trial court level, the only place they can be adjudicated.  

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:33:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is the theory, but Alito and Scalia have (0+ / 0-)

          inserted their,own facts in cases so as,to bolster their desired outcome.  Here, the facts were presumed by the 5 old white men and were by slight of hand, placed into the opinion I pleads where they, and their character were not noticed.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Sun Jul 13, 2014 at 07:30:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How does one distinguish... (8+ / 0-)

    .... a "sincerely-held belief" from an "insincerely-held belief" or even a "frivolously-held belief" or a "convenient belief"?

    Why stop there?  Why not also "arbitrarily held opinions" and "word-salad"?

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:07:06 PM PDT

    •  WE are sincere and committed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metalnun, G2geek

      THEY are dangerous zealots.

      "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." (Artemus Ward)

      by Silencio on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You Don't, It's Throwaway Words. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What would you do, disqualify Hobby Lobby because they purchase so much of their inventory from a nation that has mandatory abortions?

      You think the Court wasn't aware of that when they made the ruling?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:35:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, I would disqualify HL because: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When a company establishes policies that are clearly based on the beliefs of an identifiable religious denomination, and makes a public claim to that effect, they are effectively stating a preference to employ people whose beliefs coincide with those of that denomination, rather than people of other religions or beliefs.  

        A discriminatory effect, even if not accompanied by a discriminatory intent, is still a violation of antidiscrimination laws.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:49:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Legally, all "sincerely held" means is that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metalnun, G2geek, FarWestGirl

      the person would continue to hold the belief even if it didn't entitle him to an exemption; in other words, the belief wasn't adopted merely as a pretext for a mere desire not to comply with the law.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:36:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ahh, thanks for the info, that is highly useful. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In brief I'll remember that as "regardless of self-interest."

        That point is relevant to something else I'm doing as well.

        Based on what you said, I can probably Ixquick search for links to primary source documents such as court decisions.  

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:41:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  obviously this was a political decision (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, metalnun, FarWestGirl

    based on the ruling, families who let their children die rather than get them medical attention shouldn't be prosecuted because they sincerely believed that praying would cure their kids.

    It's a real smack your head kind of thing. "Sincerely believe"...what the? Even if it can be proven to be wrong? Then they're not "believers" they're just dumb. And to allow people, or in this case, an organization, to rewrite the law because of how dumb they are...well that's mind-blowing.

    Someone should give those Justices a real talking to about how wrong, wrong, wrong they were, except there's a buffer zone and you can't get close enough to tell them, even though you'd be offering "loving" advice.

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:59:30 PM PDT

  •  Facts are no match (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, G2geek, metalnun, FarWestGirl

    for deeply held beliefs.

    See also: Benghazi, birth certificate, death panels, losing jobs, taking away guns, doubling the deficit, climate change being a hoax, voter fraud, Obama being a Muslim and FEMA concentration camps.

    •  rationality is no match for emotionality. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheBlaz, metalnun

      When was the last time you went to see a film that consisted of an academic lecture about any subject matter in the sciences?  

      For that matter, when was the last time any such film was made and offered for public viewing?

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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