Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What the Hobby Lobby Decision Really Was [Clinton Wilcox]

Pro-choice bloggers have been generally confused regarding the recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold their religious freedom by not forcing them to provide abortifacient contraceptives. They think that this ruling has given religious employs carte blanche to mistreat their employees, or to oppress them, or all manner of silly things. NARAL alleged this gives employers a right to "interfere" in their employees' medical decisions. What they don't seem to understand is that Hobby Lobby is still providing 16 different forms of contraceptives to their employers. The ones they are no longer forced to provide, since it goes against their deeply held religious convictions, are contraceptives that cause an early abortion. But why let facts get in the way of a rhetorical argument?

Now the Satanist Church is getting in on the action. They're claiming that this ruling by the Supreme Court makes them "exempt" from state-mandated informed consent laws because they claim the material they must provide contains inaccurate and scientifically-misleading information. Ironically, in a letter you can download from their website, they claim that part of their religious beliefs are: "My inviolable body includes any fetal or embryonic tissue I carry so long as that tissue is unable to survive outside my body as an independent human being." How can someone who claims that informed-consent laws are scientifically misleading believe something like this? The "fetal tissue" a woman carries are not a part of her body, but the body of another, separate, whole human being. This truly is a religious belief, not a scientifically-accurate one. And if the Supreme Court can force a pregnant woman to undergo a blood transfusion for the good of her unborn child, you can't claim that abortion should be allowed because of "deeply held religious beliefs" since another human being is being harmed. Similarly, if someone's religion allowed for child sacrifice of two-year-old children, this also could not be allowed under religious freedom.

The Satanist church is just the latest in a long line of scientifically illiterate pro-choice advocates, trying to protect their "right" to abortion on demand. Some have argued that this decision would allow religious employers not to cover life-saving treatments like blood transfusions if a religious employer didn't believe in them. But this is just fear mongering. Blood transfusions are a life-saving medical treatment, whereas abortions are a procedure that takes the life of an innocent human being. Let's try to leave fear mongering out of the abortion debate, and focus on the real issue: are the unborn human beings deserving of protection? The answer, as I have time and again argued, is yes.