Acton Institute Powerblog

6 Lies About The HHS Mandate And The Supreme Court Cases

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Over at The Federalist, Gabriel Malor runs down some interesting “illusions” (okay, he calls them lies) regarding the HHS mandate and the Supreme Court. Here’s a quick run-down:

      1. The HHS mandate is all about women’s rights. Nope: women don’t lose a thing if Hobby Lobby et al. win. What will happen if Hobby Lobby and others like them win their case is that women who do not wish to pay for others’ birth control and/or abortions will not be forced to do so.
      2. The HHS mandate is about gay rights. Admittedly, this one was new to me. However, there are some who are saying that if business owners don’t have to pay for birth control, they can turn away gay customers as well, or as Malor puts it, if the government loses, it will “unleash an apocalypse of discrimination heretofore avoided.” No; every time there is a possible violation of religious freedom, our court system must weigh each case individually.
      3. These contraception cases are all about for-profit companies. Big business, bad business, you know. These companies, who are already pocketing millions, are looking for special treatment. However, there is no mention of the corporate form in the First Amendment. It neither includes nor precludes it.
      4. Corporations cannot exercise freedom of religion. People can (hopefully) but businesses can’t. This would be news to every Catholic diocese in the United States, as they all operate under corporate form.
      5. We can’t allow dangerous new rights for corporations/businesses. Um, since when has the federal government been allowed to tell business owners what types of insurance they have to provide? Oh, yeah…now.
      6. Our government has a compelling interest in forcing businesses to provide birth control. Legally, that is what the government has to prove. Of course, this is “bunk,” according to Malor, especially since Kathleen Sebelius has already granted 190 million exemptions. How can the government prove then a compelling interest?

Read “Six Lies The Leftist Media Tells About The Contraception Mandate Cases” at The Federalist.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • JeffreyRO55

    What’s at issue is, does Hobby Lobby have the right to treat its women employees differently, in defiance of a law, than other corporations must, because its owners have certain religious beliefs. We’re not talking about making the owners use birth control themselves. Apart from the fact that God describes an abortion method in the Bible, in Numbers, so he probably doesn’t really object to the practice, does religious belief mean I can impact YOUR life because of MY religious beliefs?
    In this particular case, Hobby Lobby doesn’t make a very strong case for itself, since it buys most of its junk from China, a communist country that forces women (including the women who make the stuff Hobby Lobby buys) to have abortions after their first child is born. So Hobby Lobby’s point seems to be: “we want to impose our birth control beliefs on our employees, and treat them differently than other employers must, but we don’t want to reduce our profits if it means buying from a country that imposes any limits on abortion.”

    • Marc Vander Maas

      First of all, your interpretation of Numbers 5 is ridiculous and you should stop trying to pass that off as evidence that God doesn’t care about abortion. That sort of argument might be a fun distraction on or something, but if you’re arguing with biblically literate people, it gets you nowhere.

      Secondly, this case is about the whether or not individuals can direct the affairs of their business in keeping with their conscience. You assert that forcing individuals to separate their private beliefs from their public actions is somehow acceptable under the Constitution. But such an action on the government’s part renders the First Amendment guarantee of Freedom of Religion moot. If we have actual freedom of religion, we must be able to act in accord with conscience in every sphere of life, public or private or commercial. Period.

      Hobby Lobby’s point is simple: They want to be able to contract with their employees in a manner that does not violate their conscience. The regulation imposed by HHS would force them to do so. You like to talk about how they want to act in “defiance of the law;” you seem to forget that all law in the United States is subject to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. If a law or regulation violates the Constitution, it is invalid. This regulation is a clear violation of Religious Liberty and should be struck down. it is truly unfortunate that a significant number of Americans don’t understand this, and it is deeply disappointing that there is a significant bloc of justices on the Supreme Court who buy into your Anti-American logic as well.

      Hobby Lobby’s decision with regard to their health care coverage harms no one. Regardless of whether or not they cover birth control (and keep in mind that they cover 16 out of 20 FDA approved methods of birth control already), it is widely available and quite affordable. No one’s access to birth control will be restricted by their decision not to pay for four specific types. Your insistence that Hobby Lobby be forced to pay for the types that they object to, their conscience be damned, is nothing more than you and others like you using the power of government to force your (irreligious?) values on those you disagree with. Pot, meet kettle.

      Everything else you post about China and abortion and whatnot, while it may be worth discussion elsewhere, is no more than a straw man that distracts from the very important core issue in this case.