Hobby Lobby, Contraception, and the Morning After Pill

You’ve probably heard about the contraception controversy in the Obamacare mandate, i.e., that companies who have health plans must include coverage for contraception in those plans. Many churches and religious organizations cited this as an infringement on their religious liberties, and they’ve been granted an exception to that particular clause. However, corporations and private businesses have not been granted that exception, and some Christian-run stores, such as Hobby Lobby, are challenging it in court, and having a tough time.

I have to admit that I’ve been torn on this issue, but not as it relates to religious freedom. I know, for a fact, that there are medical reasons for taking birth control pills that go beyond simply preventing pregnancy. For example, they’re used to help with endometriosis and ovarian cysts. So why not cover it if it’s all the same to the employer, and how is covering a legitimate medicine any problem for a Christian? Just because someone may use a medicine in an objectionable way is no reason for someone else to feel guilty about providing coverage for it. If that were the case, how could a Christian ever cover someone’s pain medication?

So when I saw that Hobby Lobby was challenging the mandate on religious grounds, I was a little upset. I could see them challenging it on the grounds that “the government doesn’t get to dictate the medical plan I provide”, but religious grounds? That seemed flimsy — until I read what they were upset about. Obamacare isn’t mandating that they help cover simple birth control pills; they’re mandating that they pay for “morning after” pills.

There’s a vast difference between a preventative medication, and one whose sole purpose is to stop a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. If a Christian believes that life and human dignity begins at conception, then it seems unconscionable to require them to pay for medication aimed at terminating that life. Yet that’s exactly what this legislation does, and it’s being upheld in court.

I wasn’t on board with the religious objection thing so much before. I am now. This is a two-fold villainy: it’s a violation of free market, and worse, it’s a violation of conscience. I can handle the former to a degree; the second should not be tolerated. If a woman is going to attempt to abort a child she may have just conceived, she ought not expect that her employer or a tax payer have to pay for it.

Photo via YLakeland.

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