Hobby Lobby takes human biology to court, loses

The Hobby Lobby retail chain continues its court battle to avoid having to provide health insurance for female employees. This, the corporation says, is a matter of corporate religious liberty. Corporations are people, my friend, and corporations have the right to worship their corporate deities as they see fit.

“All they’re asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don’t have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions,” Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. “Our basic point is the government can’t put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law.”

This is a weird claim of religious liberty. Duncan carefully says that the company should be exempt from covering medical care “they believe” causes abortion.

Duncan is careful to say that because he is aware that the drugs in question do not, in fact, cause abortion. Emergency contraception is just exactly  that — contraception. It does not end or interfere with an existing pregnancy.

It doesn’t matter if the evangelical gazillionaire owners of Hobby Lobby “believe” that emergency contraception causes abortions. It does not do that.

Nor does it matter if this belief is passionately sincere and sincerely passionate. Sincerity and passion won’t make it any less incorrect.

So Hobby Lobby’s legal claim is that a company has a “religious liberty” right to avoid anything they say causes abortion even if it does nothing of the sort.

If Hobby Lobby were to be granted such an exemption, then, what would prevent any other corporation from claiming that it believes minimum wage laws, OSHA regulations, nuclear safety rules and fire codes are also “abortifacient”?

What Hobby Lobby is seeking isn’t merely some legal permission to be exempt from providing health insurance. The corporation is seeking the “religious liberty” to redefine reality and to rewrite the laws of medicine, human anatomy, biology and chemistry.

I don’t think even the Supreme Court of the United States has the jurisdiction to allow them to do that. I suppose the justices could join Hobby Lobby in pretending that emergency contraception is not contraception, but even a unanimous 9-0 ruling declaring it to have properties it does not, in fact, actually have would not alter the fact that this nonsense about “abortion pills” remains just that: nonsense.

As Ari Kohen writes:

The bottom line is this: If you own a company and don’t understand how women’s bodies work, you might end up having to pay a million dollars a day to remain faithful to your understanding of what contraception means.

  • fraser

     But if the drug prevents ovulation, it doesn’t destroy any biological entity. So they’re still wrong (and ignorant and uninformed)–not to mention that the real immoral event for large numbers of conservatives is women having sex without “consequences”.

  • phantomreader42

    How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg?  Four.  Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.  Just like calling something that doesn’t have the effect of an abortifacient an abortifacient doesn’t make it one, no matter how many times delusional frauds keep lying about it!

  • EllieMurasaki

    So how do the people whose views on the moral relevance of embryos you cite approvingly plan to deal with a situation where the pregnant person has at least as much moral relevance as the embryo?

  • phantomreader42

    Ross said: Calling emergency contraception an abortifacient only makes sense if you believe life begins at ejaculation.

    It’s even worse than that.  Fetus-fetishists have been trying to pass laws declaring women pregnant weeks before they’re actually pregnant.  So, essentially, anyone not currently menstruating at that exact instant is considered pregnant.  Ejaculation isn’t even required.  So, apparently that whole “virgin birth” thing wasn’t anything special to the christianist right.  Which actually isn’t the least bit surprising to me after watching those lunatics show off in the name of jesus how much they absolutely despise everything about jesus. 

    I wish I were making this up, but I’m not.  Colbert gives the idiocy in Arizona the respect it deserves:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/colbert-rips-arizona-abortion-law-video_n_1449342.html

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I am concerned that you fail to see what those opposed to emergency contraception really object to.

    Yes, you really object to being told to stop sticking your fucking noses in somebody else’s business.

  • Littlepanchuk

    While the drug(s) in question do usually prevent ovulation, it is possible that prevention of implantation of an already fertilized egg accounts for some of their effectiveness, at least according to this article: http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/EC-Review.pdf
    If you believe that the embryo has moral significance after fertilization and before implantation, this is morally objectionable even though it is not a case of abortion.  The fact many of the people who make this argument also have abhorrent views about women and sex doesn’t have any bearing on my point.

  • phantomreader42

    Ellie asked: So how do the people whose views on the moral relevance of embryos you cite approvingly plan to deal with a situation where the pregnant person has at least as much moral relevance as the embryo?

    …By denying any possibility that such a situation could ever exist, and screeching in horror at the top of their lungs until the end of time that anyone who suggests such a situation is waging war against christianity.   In short, by total, relentless, unending denial of any and all reality.  Standard operating procedure for fetus-fetishists.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    In reality, they want to object to the destruction of a biological entity that they believe to be morally significant (or count as a ‘moral patient’). Whether or not that destruction counts as an abortion is not the issue at all. 

    (nods) Which also explains why they put so much energy into preventing the ongoing large-scale massacre of those moral patients represented by the natural termination of pregnancies. After all, many pregnancies don’t end in births, even if there’s no intentional intervention, and each of those terminations is just as much of a moral difficulty, right?

    No, wait… that’s not right, is it?
    I mean, they don’t do that.

    So… hm.
    In that case, it can’t primarily be the destruction of that biological entity that motivates the objection, can it? I mean, if it were, I’d expect all such destructions to be equally objectionable.

    Well, so, what do they object to, then?

    I guess it would have to be something that’s present when a pregnant woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy, but that isn’t present when the pregnancy terminates without the woman making that choice.

    What could it be?

  • Littlepanchuk

    The fact that the moral relevance of one entity can be out-weighed by other morally relevant factors does change the status of the first entity.  It only means that duties to it are not absolute.  I imagine that they deal with those situations with this in mind.  

    My point isn’t to figure out what morality demands with regard to emergency contraception (that depends completely on what moral philosophy you accept).  I just wanted to point out that it is easy to call out objectors for holding the ignorant view that EC causes abortion without getting to the heart of the issue, which I doubt medical advancement will settle.  Science cannot tell us what has moral value or what our duties are with regard to those things.  It can only tell us the fact of the matter, such as whether or not abortion, defined in a certain way, actually occurs.    

  • Isabel C.

    As per my usual response to “but some people rilly rilly  believe it you guys!”:

    Some people really truly believe that lizard aliens have replaced key governmental figures. I don’t see why I need to respect that belief; I don’t see why this one is any different.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Overblown sophistry designed to rationalize sticking your fucking nose in someone else’s business.

    Didn’t your momma ever teach you to mind your manners?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    They simply disagree with the medical definition of ‘abortion’.

    Then what is their definition of “abortion”? Can you formulate one that isn’t utter nonsense?

    Because emergency contraception does not prevent implantation. This is a plain and simple fact. It prevents fertilization. Do you actually mean to suggest that they believe that preventing fertilization is “abortion”?

    Because that’s nonsense. If preventing fertilization is abortion, then I am having an abortion right now as we speak. It’s nonsense. It’s incoherent. Any position that holds that an abortion is possible before fertilization is unactionable since there is no way to make sense of it; if you can have an abortion before fertilization takes place, then kissing is an abortion. Milk is an abortion. Cats are an abortion. The sun, the moon, everything. One equals two. All bets are off.

    What they believe is that emergency contraception works by preventing implantation. And they are wrong. As a plain matter of observable fact. THey are as wrong as if they pulled out a gun and shot someone, then said “What do you mean? THat man is still alive,” while pointing to their victim’s dead body. If they can claim religious protection for the denial of plain and simple facts, then my church says that 5=4 and I’m allowed to underpay all my bills by 20%.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Okay, that particular thing, while a gross misuse, is not nearly as ludicrous as it sounds. It is in fact standard medical practice for OBGYNs to calculate pregnancy as starting from last period. This is because they are talking about the physical process happening to the uterus and its owner (Hey, a view of pregnancy that thinks of it as something that is happening to an adult woman involving a fetus, rather than something that is happening to a fetus involving a woman), and when exactly fertilization happened does not actually matter to the timing of that process; it’s more like “At day X of the cycle, if implantation has already happened, proceed to step 6, otherwise menstruate and go back to step 1.”

    Using it as a basis for your abortion law is, of course, the same kind of trickery as when they call evolution “just a theory”, as if the scientific term “theory” meant the same thing as the colloquial word for “wild-ass guess”

  • Littlepanchuk

    I never suggested that preventing fertilization is abortion.  In fact, I didn’t suggest that preventing implantation is abortion.  Doing so is silly.  In fact, I never even objected to abortion.  I simply point out that some people feel it is immoral to prevent implantation, and they do a crappy job expressing that objection.  If EC never does this, those objectors don’t have a leg to stand on.   But the article from Princeton Universities website that I cited in a previous reply, written by a couple PhDs, acknowledges that there is uncertainty about whether or not several of the EC options sometime inhibit implantation.  Some early studies apparently showed that it did.  Other later studies called this into question, but not conclusively.    

    It just concerns me when we act as though medicine and science have or will answer our moral questions for us.  Medicine and Science answer “is” questions, not “ought” questions.      

  • EllieMurasaki

    The fact that the moral relevance of one entity can be out-weighed by other morally relevant factors does change the status of the first entity. It only means that duties to it are not absolute. I imagine that they deal with those situations with this in mind.

    In that case, why did Savita Halappanavar die? You’ve heard of her, I’m sure, the woman in Ireland who was miscarrying but who couldn’t get anyone to get the fetus out of her before she died too on account of the fetus still had a heartbeat. What possible moral duty can there be to save someone who has absolutely zero potential chance of survival? How can it be moral to prioritize saving the zero-survival-chance person over saving the person who actually might survive the situation? I mean, if the latter person wants to attempt saving the former person, it’s her life, she can do as she wants with it, but that is not the choice Savita made. That is a choice Savita’s doctors made against her will, and that is what killed her.

  • Lori

    If you believe that the embryo has moral significance after
    fertilization and before implantation, this is morally objectionable
    even though it is not a case of abortion.  The fact many of the people
    who make this argument also have abhorrent views about women and sex
    doesn’t have any bearing on my point.  

    First, this statement implies that all this business about the moral significance of a blastocyst is separate from abhorrent views about women and sex. It is not. It is part and parcel of those abhorrent views, no matter how one attempts to dress it up.

    I think it’s telling that people pushing this view always try to skip ahead at least one developmental stage. Thus a zygote or blastocyst becomes an embryo, an embryo becomes a fetus and a fetus becomes a baby. And a baby  always and forever, in all circumstances has more moral significance than a woman.

    Second, even if I were to concede your point about the the moral significance of a blastocyst, which I absolutely do not, it would not change the real issue at hand. That issue is how much control an employer can exert over an employee’s private life under the guise of his/her religious beliefs. The answer should be none. It most definitely needs to be, “Far, far less control than the owners of Hobby Lobby want to assert.”

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Science cannot tell us what has moral value or what our duties are with regard to those things.

    Well, that’s true, and it’s false.

    For example, science can’t tell me whether human DNA has moral value. But science can tell me what things in the world have human DNA. So if I believe human DNA has moral value, then science can tell me what things in the world have moral value by virtue of having human DNA.

    And if I reject the belief that all of those things have moral value, science can tell me that I have to reject the belief that having human DNA entails having moral value.

    So, no, science isn’t the sole determiner of moral truths… agreed.
    But science can establish constraints on what moral positions are consistent.

    Of course, I’m under no obligation to be consistent, either. I can decide that fetuses have moral value because they have human DNA, for example, but that other things with human DNA don’t have moral value, and to hell with consistency.

    But if I decide that, then people who do care about consistency are entitled to just ignore anything I say, because I am no longer making any damned sense.

  • Mark Z.

     I simply point out that some people feel it is immoral to prevent
    implantation, and they do a crappy job expressing that objection.  If EC
    never does this, those objectors don’t have a leg to stand on.

    That’s frankly irrelevant. Their objection is that it is something that you can do, after having sex, that reduces the risk of being pregnant.

    This isn’t about biology. It’s about categories, and taboo, and the sacred and the profane.

    In this case, the principle is that unwanted pregnancy is something that happens because you were stupid and impulsive. (The non-secularized version is “because you sinned”.) This isn’t a biological fact to them; it’s a moral truth. Many evangelicals are mostly okay with birth control* because it’s a way of declaring to the universe that you’re not having stupid impulsive sex. But if you can have stupid impulsive sex and then, after the fact, decide you made a mistake and fix it, then you’re escaping the consequences of your stupid impulsive act.** It’s the moral equivalent of abortion, even if it’s not abortion in any biological sense.

    * Though not uniformly; for example, they tend to be more comfortable with the Pill than with condoms. The reasons for this are complex, but a big part of it is that condoms require less forethought. You can impulsively decide to have sex, go buy condoms, and an hour later be having sex. Another part of it is that condoms are openly displayed for sale, and so buying them requires a certain degree of shamelessness about the fact that you’re having sex, which some people find revolting.

    “Is it not actually coitus, then? Since we are not…touching?”
    “It is common for men of your religion to say so. But in that case you will have to explain to the Almighty why you are presently buggering a dead sheep.”
    – Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver

    ** or you’ve been raped, but LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU THE B-I-B-L-E THAT’S THE BOOK FOR ME.

  • EdinburghEye

    I simply point out that some people feel it is immoral to prevent
    implantation, and they do a crappy job expressing that objection.  If EC
    never does this, those objectors don’t have a leg to stand on.

    The article from Princeton Universities website points out that there is a fair chance that implanting an IUC (a copper-T IUD) can prevent implantation as well as preventing ovulation – and the risk/benefit analysis by which a woman should decide whether or not that’s the best method of doing so.

    It also points out that the emergency contraceptive pill does not prevent implantation, it just prevents ovulation – no egg, no fertilisation, no embryo, no implantation, no pregnancy, no abortion.

    The big advantage of a copper-T IUD is that it’s pretty effective if it’s used up to five days after unprotected intercourse.

    The big advantage of an EC pill is that – if you live handy to a 24-hour pharmacies that allow EC over-the-counter sale without prescription and aren’t staffed by a religiously-minded idiot -  you can take EC within an hour or two of having unprotected intercourse, which maximises its effectiveness.

    The big advantage for these anti-science anti-medicine people is trying to confuse “Taking a pill quickly to prevent ovulation and thus avoiding unwanted pregnancy without having an abortion” with, you know, actually having an abortion. Which more people, rightly or wrongly, have views about than have views about whether a woman gets to use contraception.

     That’s why the “crappy job” I think: it lets pharmacists impose their views on women and lets the GPhC argue that it’s only religious liberty and not shockingly bad science. Pharmacists don’t fit copper-T IUDs.

    And the really daft thing is that obviously if a woman’s trying to get and use emergency contraception, it’s because she wants not-to-be-pregnant. If the EC fails because the pharmacist succeeded in delaying her long enough for her to ovulate anyway, she’s fairly likely to have an abortion. So if it was me, I like to think I would stand in the chemist’s shop and scream at the pharmacist at the top of my voice “You lousy bastard why do you want me to have an abortion?!!” and keep repeating “I’m upset because he wants me to have an abortion!!” as loudly as possible every time someone asked me to move or shut up.

    Of course I probably wouldn’t, being British and restrained. And besides I’d urgently need to get to another pharmacist if that happened.

  • banancat

    So pro-life, aren’t they? That shows exactly how much they care about life.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    The fact that the moral relevance of one entity can be out-weighed by other morally relevant factors does change the status of the first entity.

    In a hypothetical universe where it was known (or indeed reasonable that an embryo had equivalent moral ‘value’ to a woman, then perhaps this would be a reasonable argument.  But this is not that universe. 

    Science cannot tell us what has moral value or what our duties are with regard to those things.

    True (in itself).  However, if we have assigned moral value to ‘humanity’, we must consider why we assign that value?  Is it utilitarian?  Is it genetic?  Is it cellular?  Is it a matter of ‘form’?  Or is it, as most anti-abortion advocates seem to argue, an ephemeral and arbitrary condition that shows no evidence whatsoever, and, while not being genetic, follows ‘the body’ from conception to (or beyond) death?  This argument is aggressively unfalsifiable – not the unfalsifiable of ‘it is not evident there is no God’, but utterly impossible to even theoretically prove false, as it makes no substantive assertions other than itself.  Therefore, it is useless.

    I propose that it is none of these factors, but rather, based on the awareness, will, and essentially, ‘mental existence’, etc. of a human being, summarized as ‘sapience’ – this is what makes humans moral actors at all… without sapience, the concept of morality would be nonsense (and indeed, there would be nothing to concieve of it).  You can, if you will, think of this as the ‘Soul’ in a real, metaphysical sense, or you can take a more materialist approach… it doesn’t really matter.  For ‘soul’ to have any meaning, it must do something, even if it cannot be directly observed – create some distinction between humans and lesser beings, i.e., sapience.

    An embryo does not demonstrate sapience – indeed, it is no more alive than a cancer.  A fetus does not demonstrate sapience – it is alive, but only lately develops anything resembling even sentience.  A baby is not even sapient (a newborn doesn’t recognize itself in a mirror, has no concept of object permanence), or indeed many of the markers we would use to distinguish something with a ‘soul’ from a mere animal… though it is sentient.

    While there is a certain moral responsibility to an entity that is not a Moral Actor but will be, namely, not to take actions that will harm it when it is an Actor… there is no moral responsibility to preserve the mere possibility of sapience.  Especially no moral responsibility worth overriding an actual Moral Actor’s will and benefit (and yes, women are actual Moral Actors, even when pregnant)…

    In that case, why did Savita Halappanavar die?

    In fairness, a member of a system failing that system is not necessarily an indictment of the system.  The response would probably be ‘they failed in their responsibility/calculus’…
    Not that I actually believe their action was justified even in principle.

  • Baby_Raptor

    It doesn’t matter. These people don’t get their own facts. At least not when it comes to forcing others to live by their falsehoods. If they want to personally decide that anything at all that stops a fetus from developing is wrong, that’s fine for them. 

    But they cannot force these views on people who choose to live in reality, where words and actions have real meaning. 

    Also, the only “respectable” way for someone to choose ignorance is if they’re keeping it to themselves. It stops being respectable the second they try and spread their view to anyone else.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     You know that thing I said before about gun control? How the US has lax gun laws because no number of dead children is too high a price to pay for the possibility of someone becoming a Hero by using his  Concealed Carry Gun to save the day?

    Same logic applies. No number of dead pregnant women is too high a price to pay for the possibility of a non-viable fetus miraculously turning into a healthy baby.

    (And I imagine that “fetus judged medically doomed survives to birth and recovers into a healthy baby” happens roughly as often as “armed civilian saves the day by shooting the bad guys”. Possibly a _bit_ more often since medical science deals largely in probabilities, whereas there’s not really such a thing as a 70% chance of spree killer)

  • Darkrose

    Reading your comment, and others about “moral entities” and “relative value” makes me try to imagine something I can’t. I’m picturing Savita Halappanavar lying there, semi-conscious and probably in a lot of pain, maybe only partially aware that the child she and her husband wanted is all but dead inside her. Meanwhile, the doctors debate about the relative value of moral entities and the presence of a fetal heartbeat and when life begins, until it’s too late and the actual woman, the one with the friends and family and husband who loves her is dead.

    In philosophical discussions of abortion, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are actual human beings involved, and not just abstract moral entities.

  • AnonymousSam

    If it were happening in the United States, I would agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, it happened in a country where abortion is completely illegal, so the doctors were really just trying to err on the side of the law. They were arguing for the chemo; the law enforcement warned them that it would lead to prosecution, the lawyers tried to find wiggle room. Ultimately it was concluded that the fetus would be lost regardless, but it took too damned long to make that decision. By the time she got the chemo, it was too late to be of any help.

  • Lori

    I’m picturing Savita Halappanavar lying there, semi-conscious and
    probably in a lot of pain, maybe only partially aware that the child she
    and her husband wanted is all but dead inside her.  

    As I understand it she was fully aware of her situation and that the fetus she was carrying would not survive. She able to make it clear that given that there was no chance for a live birth,  she wanted the pregnancy terminated. Which of course makes it just that much worse that the doctors ignored her because there was nothing they could legally do for her as long as there was still a fetal heartbeat. Because in a country ruled by Catholic doctrine a fetus with zero chance of being born alive trumps a living woman. It also trumps her living child, not to mention her husband and her parents. Truly an example of fetus worship at its ugliest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    One example of what you are up against: http://www.scifiwright.com/2012/12/feast-of-the-holy-innocents-2/#more-6988

    I have a morbid interest in bringing things together.

  • Lori

    This cruel deed of Herod is not mentioned by the Jewish historian
    Flavius Josephus, although he relates quite a number of atrocities
    committed by the king during the last years of his reign. The number of
    these children was so small that this crime appeared insignificant
    amongst the other misdeeds of Herod.  

    Of course. The only possible reason that this even wasn’t mentioned by Flavius Josephus was that it was relatively trivial and got lost in the shuffle of atrocities. It couldn’t possibly be that the story of the cruel deed was propaganda made up in order to make the story of Jesus seem to fit prophecies about the Messiah. 

  • Matthias

     Look it is evidently impossible to conduct a scientific discussion with you as you just ignore any citation refution your position.

    So I will just say it one final time and then let it be: Some (not all) emergency contraception prevents implantation of a fertilised egg. Those treatments have a near 100% efficiency at stopping unwanted pregnancies while those that do not prevent nidulation only reach 80%.

  • Phwise

    Every sperm is good!
    Every sperm is needed
    In your neighborhood!

  • theoracle

    I didn’t know a “corporation” could have “faith.” (per Kyle Duncan quote). A person can have faith, but a corporation? Oh right, maybe Duncan was speaking to the Citizens United folks, and the culpable supreme court justices who gave our nation this abominable ruling?

  • BaseDeltaZero

    (And I imagine that “fetus judged medically doomed survives to birth and recovers into a healthy baby” happens roughly as often as “armed civilian saves the day by shooting the bad guys”

    I suspect it’s gonna be a lot more in favor of the latter.  

    In philosophical discussions of abortion, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are actual human beings involved, and not just abstract moral entities.

    While that’s a cute description there, we *aren’t* in that situation.  And we have these ‘abstract discussions’ so we can know how to make decisions in a crisis.  So we *don’t* have to hold a debate while someone bleeds out… or should we just always go with our ‘gut’ or divine providence, like… these doctors did? (because it is legal under Irish law to abort in the case of danger to the mother).

    I also like how I wrote a comment on why a fetus cannot override concern for the mother, and get yelled at.

    One example of what you are up against: http://www.scifiwright.com/201

    Ah, that guy.  I actually did like his essay on creation posted a while back.  Tried to comment on some of his stuff, but… wow.  Just wow.

  • smrnda

     It’s also worth noting that workers are the one that create the revenue through their work that the management then undemocratically doles back out to the employees. I mean, why should a worker be asked to pay premiums towards a plan that doesn’t cover a normal medication?

    I have also heard that like all good Christian employers, Hobby Lobby is very against unions since, as Christian employers, the existence of a union might prove their god was really Mammon.

  • smrnda

     Plus that being pregnant and giving birth is pretty risky, and has been the cause of death of many women in the past, and still is in less developed countries. They’re equating demanding that a guy pay money is just as big of a deal?

  • banancat

    Quite honestly, I would love to see this type of legal temper tantrum shut down by just requiring employers to provide insurance plans that cover abortion, which is a legal procedure. Maybe I’m in the minority but we have decided this procedure is legal and it should have covered just like any other unless it is made illegal. We shouldn’t make a concession for one legal thing that some people dislike because then they keep trying to use that trick to restrict other legal things.

  • JayemGriffin

    Hey. Shut up about what “some people” think and argue what YOU believe. The devil already has enough advocates.

  • Tricksterson

    I’m convinced that not only do they actually believe that but on some level that it begins with insertion.

  • Tricksterson

    (To the tune of Three Blind Mice)

    Save Our Sperm
    Save Our Sperm
    Cause even they have a right to life
    They’re all a man has to give to his wife
    So Save Our Sperm

  • Tricksterson

    Yeah, I used to like him as an author (Loved his Chronicles of Chaos trilogy) but reading his blog gives me a headache before I get more than a couple of paragraphs in.  Whether i continue to read his fiction depends on whether it’s as nuts as his screeds.  He used to be an atheist and then converted to Catholicism and well, apparently Found God and Lost his Marbles.

  • P J Evans

    Pregnancy is riskier than abortion even in developed countries.
    (The main reason why life expectancies are longer in developed countries is that infant mortality is much lower.)

  • reynard61

    “I just have issue with the name, ‘Hobby Lobby’, sounds like a toy and puzzle shop, which also sells candles.”

    Well, from personal experience, Hobby Lobby does (or at least did, as of about two years ago when I stopped going there) sell toys, puzzles and candles. (They also sell plastic scale model kits, which is what I went there for; but their prices were getting so ridiculously high and their selection so small that I now go to HobbytownUSA or use the internet to get kits and supplies.)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I wonder…mifepristone (RU486), which is an abortifacient, is used in a couple of countries as an emergency contraceptive, in low doses. Not in the US–but I wonder if people who say emergency contraceptive = abortifacient are thinking of this drug, and are (perhaps willfully) ignorant of its limited use in the US?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I have also heard that like all good Christian employers, Hobby Lobby is very against unions since, as Christian employers, the existence of a union might prove their god was really Mammon. /blockquote>

    Good Protestant employers maybe. Any Catholic employer who denies their workers the right to unionise is acting in direct opposition to church teaching, which clearly recognises and supports the right to unionise.

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    Yeah, anti-choice rhetoric often seems to imply that abortion isn’t really legal, just under-enforced. When I was watching the Georgia legislature’s debate over one of our latest (out of many) abortion restrictions, and the Republican sponsor of the bill trotted out the tiresome line about, “Rape is terrible sure, but you shouldn’t compound one crime [rape] with another [abortion],” I literally shouted at the screen, “Abortion’s not a crime, asshole!”

    You have every right to think it’s a sin. But the state isn’t here to punish sins. It’s here to punish crimes. Sadly, the religious right doesn’t see the difference.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Hm.  Do you happen to recall when he converted?  Because, out of curiosity, I went all the way back to his first post on his blog, in 2003, and it was… a rant on abortion (IIRC.  It may have been some other conservative issue… anyways, just wondering if he converted and became a conservative, or he was always a conservative who just happened to convert…

    (They also sell plastic scale model kits, which is what I went there for; but their prices were getting so ridiculously high and their selection so small that I now go to HobbytownUSA or use the internet to get kits and supplies.)

    I kinda like those kits, but I never quite seem to have enough persistence to get them done quickly enough, and then the glue dries out and it’s just… yeah. /Digression

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Well, if you believe abortion is murder, then it makes sense… the problem is that it’s nonsensical to believe abortion is murder.

  • Matri

    they demonstrate that this view can be held in a respectable way, quite apart from ignorance and religious fanaticism.  

    No.

    No, they cannot.

    Where your supposed “argument” falls flat is that only a mere decade ago, they were so far on the other side of the fence that arguing against birth control was considered a Bad Thing(tm).

  • Matri

    In philosophical discussions of abortion, it’s easy to lose sight of the
    fact that there are actual human beings involved, and not just abstract
    moral entities.

    And the irony in this scenario is that the “morally bankrupt” science is trying to save a live human being, while the “moral high ground” religious right wants to save a dead one at the cost of another human life.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Well of course. Women are not people, we are incubators. And when we are pregnant, our bodies belong to fetuses, not to ourselves one whit.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    So what’s keeping those people from requiring all fertile individuals to be inserting penis in vagina as many times per day as is physically possible?

    It would impinge on men’s bodies. That we cannot have. Men’s vasectomies and Viagra are covered happily by these assholes, after all. Men are the only ones allowed to own any body.


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