November 21, 2012

AP Story on Hobby Lobby Ruling Misdirects to Avoid Facing When Life Begins

In his Monday evening coverage of a federal judge’s refusal to grant retailer Hobby Lobby injunctive relief from ObamaCare’s mandate that it “provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills,” the Associated Press’s Tim Talley “cleverly” recast the government’s argument over what constitutes an abortion (the government says that the morning-after pill isn’t an abortifacient, when it really is) into one over when “pregnancy” (instead of life) begins. The company faces fines of $1.3 million per day (not a typo) starting on January 1 if it does not comply.

Several paragraphs from Talley’s writeup will illustrate the misdirection (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

… The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners’ religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. [1] They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

At a hearing earlier this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions  [2] and that the U.S. has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.

The morning-after pill works by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In medical terms, pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. [3] If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can reduce a woman’s chances of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent.

Critics of contraception say it is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. [4] The lawsuit also alleges that certain kinds of intrauterine devices can destroy an embryo by preventing it from implanting in a woman’s uterus.

The company, which is self-insured, has said it will face a daily $1.3 million fine beginning Jan. 1 if it ignores the law. [5]

“It is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” said David Green, founder and CEO. “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”

The Green family has said it has no moral objection to the use of other contraceptives and will continue covering them for its employees.


[1] — This isn’t about “what the owners contend.” It’s about what the scientific truth is about when life begins. A fertilized egg is a life; that is not debatable (hence the ongoing prolife attempt to prevent the slaughter of innocent human embryos by those engaged in embryonic stem cell research). Whether the fertilized egg has or hasn’t implanted is irrelevant. Proactively attempting to prevent implantation takes a life. Whether a person is okay with doing that or not is a totally separate matter from that fundamental, objective truth the the morning-pill’s mission is to terminate life. Whether or not one is religious, it’s intellectually dishonest to try and claim otherwise.

[2] — The government’s argument is objectively wrong. When it works as intended, the morning-after pill terminates the life of any fertilized egg which would otherwise have implanted itself. The morning-after pill is an abortifacient drug, and does cause abortions.

[3] — There’s the misdirection. This isn’t about “pregnancy,” Mr. Talley. It’s about the termination of human life.

[4] — Once again, it doesn’t matter what “critics of contraception say.” What matters is the scientific truth, which is that the morning-after pill kills fertilized eggs which might otherwise have implanted themselves in the womb. “Critics” and “supporters” can blabber all they want; they can’t change the truth.

[5] — There may not be a better illustration than this of how “The power to tax (and penalize, and fine) is the power to destroy.”

Cross-posted at


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