Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fiction as Fact

From the Twitterverse:

Cecil Richards: Birth Control is basic health care used by 99% of women - unbelievable that we're fighting for it in 2014. #NotMyBossesBusiness

Lena Dunham: Women's access to birth control should not be denied because of their employer's religious belief.

Nancy Pelosi: Allowing CEO's to limit the medical procedures available to employees is a gross violating of workers religious rights.

Elizabeth Warren: Can't believe we live in a world where we'd even consider letting big corps deny women access to basic care based on vague moral objections.


I could go on, but it's not necessary.  Just those four tweets alone give me enough to write about, and that doesn't include all the facebook comments I had the pleasure *cough cough* of reading today.

I am simply amazed at either the wholesale lying, complete disregard for facts, or just plain low-information idiocy that has been connected to the Supreme Court decision today in the cases of both Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood. 

 Legally, this was a very narrowly structured decision, relating to contraception methods that could be considered abortifacients.  The majority opinion went so far as to say other medical procedures or medications were NOT covered by this decision, and by the way, at no point did the Supreme Court give carte blanche for corporations to deny employment or rights to gay people.  Let's just start with that.  The decision was based on closely held corporations, not large broad public corporations.  It is about as narrow of a decision as you can get.  Try finding a few reputable, non-partisan, SCOTUS related sites.  

At no point is anyone denied access to any method of contraception.   If they allowed your only local pharmacy to refuse to carry a product, that could be interpreted as denying access.  However, if you can go to a doctor and get an IUD put in, or you can go to your local pharmacy and get Plan B, you have access.  All that anyone was denied was the right to have someone else pay for it.

This is not a blow to women's rights.  Let me know where you find a right to free contraception in the Constitution.  

Also, for those of you who would like to comment and say "it's not my bosses business", and my favorite "stay out of my vagina", then explain why you are expecting them to pay for something that is none of their business and that they need to stay out of.

Those are the best arguments I've seen.

Here are a few that totally blow me away, to the point of complete insanity.

"Christians should be ashamed that these people are hiding behind the Bible."

"Hobby Lobby are a bunch of hypocrites because they invest in companies that provide the drugs they refuse to pay for and also companies that supply medical equipment necessary for abortions."

"The idea that Corporations are people is scary."

If Christians are ashamed that someone is taking a stand about their Bible-based beliefs, then those Christians ought to spend some time 1) reading the Bible and 2) praying.  You can disagree with them on the basis of Christian liberty, but I'm pretty sure taking a stand is an integral part of the Bible.  And you don't stop taking a stand simply because you happen to have the nerve to own a business.  Somehow, I fail to see God accepting the excuse "well, I didn't think that I should say anything or fight against that because I incorporated my business".  

Hobby Lobby has investments in both pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies through 401K's provided to their employees.  This comes from a recent Mother Jones "expose", and a Forbes editorial calling them hypocrites.  Let me mention, that as far as I know, Hobby Lobby does not have corporate investments in these companies.  The only investments they have in these businesses is through a 401K, that is, most likely, administered by an outside investment company.  I do not know how their 401K is set up.  I know that with my husband's, we were able to choose certain companies to invest our money in.  The choice was ours, and any matching funds from his company were simply distributed to the companies we chose in the amount we chose.  Other investment firms just have a standard plan where they choose the investments.  And yes, Hobby Lobby matches employee donations, but as part of the employees salary, that is their money to do with as they please.  As far as I am aware, the Hobby Lobby Corporation itself is not making money off of investments to these businesses, but even if they were, they are investing in companies that produce a wide variety of drugs and medical equipment.  And some of the same medical equipment used in abortions is also use in heart, brain, lung, and other surgeries.  A suction isn't bad simply because it's used in abortion.  It may also be used in removing blood clots.  If we all stopped buying products from a company because we dislike something else they sell, we'd stop buying pretty much...everything.  Hobby Lobby is no more hypocritical than those people screaming for privacy in the bedroom while demanding someone else pay for their actions in the bedroom.

What is a corporation? A corporation is a group of people, in association, who have certain powers and liabilities as that association distinct from it's members as individuals.  The most common reason for incorporating is so that the individuals are not assessed the liabilities.  The "corporation" is.  Also, as such the individuals assets are not the corporations assets.  But a corporations is made up of individual people, and as far as I'm aware, those people don't cease to have rights simply because they own a business and wanted their personal assets and liabilities separate from that of their business.  Especially in the case of small businesses that are not owned by the broader public, they have more leeway as to how their business is run.  They don't necessarily have to answer to hundreds or even thousands of individual investors.  If you work for a corporation, you are still a person.  Unless you'd like to give up personhood, as you seem to think that those people at the top of the food chain ought to do.  If corporations are forced to give up their first amendment protections, then they should also be forced to give up all the other ones.  And if you think this case was the nail in the coffin to that, you missed a bigger decision on this several years ago.

That case was Citizens United Vs. FEC.  And in that decision, the Supreme Court decided that it was unconstitutional to deny corporations and labor unions, whether for profit or non-profit, the right to political speech.  (It did not change the campaign donation laws, however, if the corporation or union in question wanted to produce their own political advertisement, they were entitled to do so under the First Amendment.)  In this free speech case, the Supreme Court treated corporations as individuals afforded the protections given to individual people in our Constitution.  

So scary, for those who think the whole corporations as people is scary, happened 4 years ago.  

My feeling is that the basis for the outrage is because this case was based in religious beliefs.  More and more, in America, the freedom to practice religion, is under attack, unless you practice it in a closet somewhere, where no one else can see you (and therefore not be offended by you).  At least if you are a Christian.  

You can object to the decision based on it's merits, but the objections made based on fear-mongering statements that contain nothing remotely close to fact?  They are hollow and will not wash with the majority of people who actually know the facts.  Try actually looking them up, please?

*side note:  Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood will both supply 16 forms of contraception.

*side note2: The second set of "facts" is not sourced, as most of those were on my personal facebook, and I have no desire to out people in public who may wish to remain private.

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