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USSC Hobby Lobby ruling - "religious freedom"? It's NOT what you think!

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Author Topic: USSC Hobby Lobby ruling - "religious freedom"? It's NOT what you think!  (Read 1867 times)
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« on: July 02, 2014, 06:19:43 pm »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101807865?__source=yahoo|finance|headline|headline|story&par=yahoo&doc=101807865|Hobby%20Lobby%20outrage?%20Here#.
A simple solution to Hobby Lobby outrage
7/2/14

 Are you outraged by the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision? Are you convinced that this means "mean old men" in black robes and sitting in corporate suites are now making adverse decisions about women's health?

There's a very simple solution to this problem.

WARNING! The following article is not meant for the political types on the Right and Left who are looking to exploit the Hobby Lobby decision for votes, headlines, and general fear-mongering. You guys can go sit in a corner for a few minutes please. I'll get back to you later. Right now, this is for the non-politician REAL people who are upset because they believe this ruling will restrict access to drugs that are essential to reproductive freedom and women's health.

You can sum up the solution in just three letters: OTC.

If you're really worried about access, cost and even innovation in birth control and even abortion-inducing drugs, the answer is making these drugs available over the counter without a prescription.

First, let's talk cost. Even with the prescription requirements, the cost of buying birth control in America is extremely low. Walmart, Target and the explosion of nationwide drug-store chains have helped bring those costs down over the past 25 years. But the prices would go even lower as all drugs do when they make the shift from RX to OTC availability.

Second, let's talk safety. Did you know that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists officially recommended that birth-control pills be made available over the counter more than a year and a half ago? Well, it did and it noted all the relevant medical concerns and responsibly blew them all away.

Third, let's talk reality. Could this work? Well, it works in 91 countries all over the world. And the journal "Contraception" looked at the statistics and determined the practice was overwhelmingly safe.

Okay now we can invite the political types back into the room because sadly, we won't be able to make this happen without them.

But there's good news here, too. It's not just liberal types who want to improve access to birth control with little or no restrictions.

Conservative Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal jumped on this issue almost immediately after the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called for making birth control available over the counter. In a December 2012 speech, Jindal insisted that anti-abortion Republicans must not be the enemies of birth control for many reasons especially political ones. Jindal rightfully predicted that the Democrats would make birth-control access a weapon to use against the GOP, and he has been calling for the OTC solution as a way to disarm that weapon ever since.

 GOP candidate Cory Gardner, who is running for Senate against Democrat incumbent Mark Udall in the swing state of Colorado, has just called for OTC birth control in response to the Hobby Lobby decision. Other GOP candidates should and will do the same. It would also be nice if the fear-mongering Democrats would practice what they preach about access and get on board as well. Some of them will at least say they favor the idea.

Of course, this all comes back to the free market. Back in 2001, Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman studied the health-care market and showed how the biggest problems with access and pricing were due to third parties getting involved in the process. Friedman determined that whether it was Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance companies or employers, anyone getting between the consumer and the treatment was likely to drive prices higher, reduce supply or both.

Getting the government regulators out of the birth-control business will do more to solve any access issues better than the courts or the other two branches of the government ever could. I know getting Washington out of health care is an idea that makes lots of liberals squirm, but I'm betting when it comes to making birth control available over the counter, they'll make an exception. Smart Republicans already are in favor of it, doctors are in favor of it, and the drug makers usually get very, very happy when drugs make the RX-to-OTC move.

Considering the fact that this is also what the consumer wants, my only fear is that this solution to the Hobby Lobby hullabaloo is TOO perfect.
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 06:40:27 pm »

From what I've read about this(from this and other articles)...

Looks like they are quietly and craftily going to their Plan B abortion route - this is JMHO, but here goes...

Shortly after Obama got into office - various states started pushing for anti-abortion *restriction* measures. It's been a mixed bag thus far: Good news-abortion clinics are closing at a faster rate than anticipated. Bad news-aside from TX, the courts system by and large have favored Planned Parenthood. But ultimately, AS IT APPEARS - these recent states laws have all but put a monkeywrench in PP's clinics.

HOWEVER - look how CHEAP these "birth control" pills have become. And to boot - they've slowly but surely gone Over-The-Counter. And it looks like this very USSC case is just that - a Hegelian Dialectic vehicle of "religious freedom" vs. "women's rights" to bring everyone to this very compromise - CHEAP "birth control" OTC drugs accessible to everyone.(b/c no longer their insurers will provide it for them when all is said and done - even though it's been in the works for years now) And guess who'll profit from this? BIG PHARMA!

And to boot - look who else is pushing for this - CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS! Why? B/c they don't believe in "big government"(so therefore they believe these drugs shouldn't be regulated!).

And ultimately - look who's doing the bidding all along for them(since 2010 when these anti-abortion measures started getting passed) - THE APOSTATE CHURCH! They just fell hook, line, and sinker for this "religious freedom" nonsense from day 1!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 06:46:24 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 10:20:38 am »

First off, ignore all of the liberalism rhetoric from this pro-progressive news site.

With that being said - considering everything that's come in - look at all of the bait-and-switch the NWO minions have been cooking up for awhile now. Shortly after Obama takes office, various states have passed anti-abortion restrictions that's lead to a number of abortion clinics closings. However - at the same time, right under everyone's noses, slowly but surely they are legalizing these "birth control" pills CHEAP Over The Counter.(and this Hobby Lobby case is putting the final nail in the coffin in this Hegelian Dialectic of "religious freedom" vs. "women's rights")

Ultimately - this has been another attempt by the minions to yoke the Apostate Church into more "political activism"(which has come to naught).

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/07/02/3455667/new-abortion-state-laws-july/
7/2/14
While You Were Paying Attention To Hobby Lobby, It Got Harder To Get An Abortion

All eyes have been trained on the Supreme Court this week, as the justices delivered a highly-anticipated decision allowing some for-profit companies to refuse to cover several types of contraception based on their owners’ religious beliefs. But that’s not the only recent policy change related to reproductive rights. Across the country, several new abortion restrictions also became law this week.

Many of the state laws that are passed at the beginning of the year officially take effect on July 1, mostly because July is about halfway through the calendar year and the start of many states’ fiscal years. For women in at least five states, that means there are now even more limits on their abortion rights. Here’s how the legislative landscape changed on Tuesday:


ALABAMA: A new law requiring reproductive health clinics to bring their building codes in line with ambulatory surgical centers is now in place in Alabama. Under those requirements, clinics will be forced to make costly and unnecessary updates that don’t actually have anything to do with patient safety. For instance, the only abortion clinic in the northern part of the state has already been forced to close because it couldn’t afford to widen its hallways to accommodate a hypothetical stretcher. Alabama used to have six clinics, but that number is expected to be cut in half by the harsh new regulations.

FLORIDA: There are new restrictions on later abortions in Florida, where anti-choice groups have successfully inflamed manufactured controversies over doctors endorsing “infanticide” by performing abortions after fetuses can survive outside the womb. There’s no real evidence that doctors are currently doing this. Nonetheless, the state’s new law places unnecessary restrictions on late-term abortions — which are already extremely rare — and threatens doctors with life in prison if they perform an abortion after the fetus is viable. Restricting late-term abortion is becoming a very popular anti-choice strategy, and it’s a policy that typically ends up impacting incredibly vulnerable women and the handful of medical professionals who serve them.

INDIANA: Two new abortion restrictions just took effect in Indiana. The first requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges from local hospitals, a medically unnecessary requirement that often forces clinics to close because they can’t find any hospitals that agree to partner with them. Abortion opponents are celebrating the new law, pointing out that it’s similar to one in Texas that has forced dozens of clinics out of business. Indiana’s second law restricts women’s insurance coverage for abortion, which is another popular method of indirectly limiting women’s access to the expensive medical procedure.

MISSISSIPPI: A 20-week abortion ban is now in place in Mississippi, which just became the latest state to enact this blatantly unconstitutional restriction on the procedure. These so-called “fetal pain” laws are based on the scientifically inaccurate premise that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks gestation. And because of the way that Mississippi’s new measure calculates gestation, it actually ends up being even more restrictive than similar laws in other states, shaving off an additional two weeks from the window to access legal abortion services. Mississippi’s governor has been upfront about the fact that he’s approving multiple restrictions on reproductive rights with the ultimate goal of ending abortion in his state for good.

SOUTH DAKOTA: In South Dakota, doctors are no longer allowed to perform abortions based on the fetuses’ sex. Since an estimated 92 percent of abortions take place before it’s even possible to determine whether the fetus is a boy or girl, and there’s absolutely no evidence that the state’s residents are ending pregnancies specifically based on gender, it’s not clear why this restriction is necessary in the first place. In reality, these type of “sex-selective abortion bans” are simply based on racial stereotypes about the Asian-American community preferring boys over girls. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum points out that this legislation is damaging to women of color because it subjects them to unnecessary scrutiny about their reproductive health decisions, and abortion doctors say they have no idea how to enforce it in practice.
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 05:28:12 pm »

http://www.businessinsider.com/hobby-lobby-decision-bad-for-business-2014-7
For Corporate America, Opposing Birth Control Is A Terrible Idea
7/2/14

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that closely held corporations can refuse on religious grounds to pay for contraception as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Previously, only churches and religious nonprofits had exemption from the health law's contraception mandate.

The Fortune 500 companies that had actively voiced support for the landmark 2010 Citizens United case, which ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to free speech, were notably absent from this debate over a corporation's right to free expression of religion, as Slate reported earlier this year.

That might be because the Hobby Lobby ruling will do more harm than good to corporate America. Here are three reasons why.

Corporations Might Have An Identity Crisis

A corporation is not a person. It is an abstract legal entity that is separate from the individual owners and shareholders that comprise it.

Legally, corporations can do things that a person can do, like enter into contracts or pay taxes. The Hobby Lobby case entered into murky territory regarding the rights and responsibilities of a corporation: Can a corporation have religious beliefs like an individual person?

The ruling doesn't say that the corporation itself has religious beliefs, but it allows the corporation to avoid compliance with federal law based on the beliefs of its owners/shareholders. This muddies the traditional legal definition of a corporation, which separates the corporate entity from the individuals who own and manage it.

The Court's decision also has the potential to complicate corporate governance, according to an amicus brief filed by the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The brief argues that religious discussions could create a new source of conflict among shareholders, potentially pushing out those with minority views.

Even in the best case scenarios, corporations may be forced to invest time and money figuring out how to navigate new questions about their "official" religious expression.

The Cost Burden Could Shift To Taxpayers And Insurers

With employer-sponsored health insurance, both the employer and the employee pay for the employee's health benefits. The employer negotiates a per-employee premium with the insurance company and the employee pitches in by also paying monthly premiums and co-payments for office visits and prescription medications.

The Affordable Care Act mandated that all insurance plans need to cover certain FDA-approved contraception methods. Even though the Court's Hobby Lobby decision means the company doesn't have to pay for contraception through its employer-sponsored health insurance plans, many of the company's employees may still want access to the birth control that they legally have a right to.

What does that mean? Either the government or health insurance companies will have to pick up the tab.


For religious organizations that are already exempt from the mandate, the insurance company basically eats the cost. The onus is on the insurer to notify women in the health plan that it will be "providing them separate no-cost payments for contraceptive services for as long as they remain enrolled," according to a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services.

No word on what happens if a private insurer is religiously opposed to contraception, but the other option, proposed by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, is that the government provides the contraception free of charge.

Paying For Contraception Costs Way Less Than An Unintended Pregnancy

The U.S. government already shoulders a tremendous burden when it comes to paying for both family planning and unintended pregnancies (when a woman becomes pregnant even though she wasn't planning to).

The government spent $12.5 billion on births resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide in 2008 through publicly funded programs like Medicaid, according to a report from The Guttmacher Institute.

Currently about 3.4 million, or half of pregnancies in the United States each year are unintended, and the rates are highest among low-income and minority women. Contraception plays a significant role in reducing unintended pregnancies.

The Guttmacher Institute reports notes that two-thirds of women who are at risk of getting pregnant take birth control "consistently and correctly." The at-risk women who do not use birth control, meanwhile, account for more than half of all unintended pregnancies. While some people may voluntarily forego contraception, the population of women who do not use birth control may well grow on the heels of the Hobby Lobby decision.

Making it more difficult for women to obtain contraception won't make them less likely to need it, but it may make them less likely to use it — or less likely to seek employment at whatever company chooses to make things more complicated.

Given that the average woman spends three decades trying to avoid an unintended pregnancy, the widespread access to contraception mandated by the ACA — and hobbled by this latest decision — was designed as a way to reduce costs for individuals and taxpayers as a whole.

The financial effect of the decision on businesses won't be known for some time, and that's part of the problem. "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield," Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned in her dissent, noting that the decision was "bound to have untoward effects."

It's no wonder corporate America is not lining up behind Hobby Lobby to applaud.

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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 12:02:59 pm »

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/07/15/3460393/gop-hobby-lobby-contraception-bill/
7/15/14
The GOP’s Plot To Convince You They Support Birth Control

There’s a war over birth control brewing in the Senate, and Republican lawmakers want to make it clear that the GOP is on the right side.

On Tuesday, after Senate Democrats introduced a measure to override the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Hobby Lobby and clarify that for-profit companies must offer contraceptive coverage, their Republican colleagues announced some forthcoming legislation of their own. As the Hill reports, GOP leadership will introduce a bill that appears to be supportive of women’s access to birth control.

“We plan to introduce legislation this week that says no employer can block any employee from legal access to her FDA-approved contraceptives,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said. “There’s no disagreement on that fundamental point.”

If the final bill is along the lines of the initial reports, however, the GOP’s competing legislation wouldn’t do anything to change the status quo. It certainly wouldn’t ensure that Hobby Lobby employees have insurance coverage for contraception. Instead, it’s simply a way for Republicans to reinforce the point that the high court’s ruling on Hobby Lobby doesn’t inhibit women’s legal access to birth control.

The fact that women are still allowed to purchase every type of FDA-approved birth control has become the central argument used to downplay the impact of the Hobby Lobby case. Of course, it’s certainly true. Contraception remains legal, and the decision to allow some for-profit companies to refuse to cover some types of birth control on religious grounds doesn’t mean that all IUDs, for example, are now banned.

But legality isn’t exactly the same as accessibility. And the Hobby Lobby case was about the latter.

Hobby Lobby supporters typically argue that birth control is still widely accessible because it’s cheap. Conservatives have claimed birth control can cost less than four dollars per month and women can simply buy their contraception at any 7/11. However, it’s important to remember that Hobby Lobby won the right to drop coverage for one of the most expensive types of birth control, intrauterine devices, which can cost up to $1,000 out of pocket. Previous research has confirmed that cost is a serious barrier for the low-income women who may otherwise choose to use IUDs. As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted in its brief in opposition to Hobby Lobby, “Lack of insurance coverage deters many women from choosing a high-cost contraceptive, even if that method is best for her health and lifestyle.”

In that context, it doesn’t matter that IUDs aren’t technically illegal. If women don’t have the insurance benefits to make them affordable, they’re still just as far out of reach.

This issue extends to other types of birth control, too (particularly since it’s possible that other for-profit companies will eventually win the right to drop coverage for all forms of contraception). The oral birth control pill isn’t actually as affordable as some Obamacare opponents make it out to be, and can run up to $1,210 each year in doctor’s visits and prescription costs. Those type of extra costs are partly why women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on their out-of-pocket medical expenses than men do, and that’s why women have historically been forced to make some tough choices about their reproductive health. Before Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate took effect, some women reported that they tried to save money by failing to take their birth control as directed or by switching to a less effective method.

“What we’re saying is that of course you can support both religious freedom and access to contraception,” McConnell told the Hill. That’s a convenient narrative for a party that is eager to win back female support. But what kind of access are we really talking about?

At the end of the day, if McConnell’s potential legislation is any indicator, Republicans are simply willing to go on the record to affirm that they don’t support outlawing birth control altogether. That shouldn’t necessarily be incredibly reassuring to women. Successful efforts to limit access to women’s health care services don’t typically result from outright bans — for proof, look no further than the fight against abortion. It’s easier to slowly chip away at women’s ability to afford their health care, and the first step in that bigger strategy is to cut off their insurance coverage for it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 07:55:19 pm »

Ultimately, this is the AGENDA the NWO minions are PUSHING...

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/laura-chapin/2014/07/28/everyone-wins-when-birth-control-is-free-even-conservatives
7/28/14
Everyone Wins When Birth Control Is Free
Dear conservatives: Contraception means fewer abortions and lower costs to taxpayers.


DENVER – About the only reasonable thing in Justice Samuel Alito’s otherwise **** majority opinion on Hobby Lobby was this: the suggestion that maybe the government should find ways to ensure women have cost-free access to birth control. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and the Republican Congress who nearly shut down the government over Planned Parenthood are about as likely to do that as bark at the moon, but the idea is based on proven results.

On July 3, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that, thanks to a public-private partnership on contraception access, the state’s teen birth rate dropped by 40 percent and the teen abortion rate dropped by 35 percent in a four-year period. A private funder helped supply long-acting reversible contraceptives – IUDs and hormone implants – which were offered to low-income and uninsured women through state providers. Not only did the abortion and unintended pregnancy rate drop dramatically, Colorado saved an estimate $5.68 in Medicaid funds for every $1 spent on the program.

So here’s my question to all the Republicans out there: If you’re a fiscal conservative who wants fewer abortions and more self-sufficient citizens, why don’t you support the government providing access to free birth control? This used to be a conservative position: George H.W. Bush gave a speech in Denver in 1968 advocating for government-backed family planning.

The Colorado results dovetail with another study done at Washington University in St. Louis in 2012, published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. For three years, participants were provided free birth control, and most chose IUDs and implants. The result? “Changes in contraceptive policy simulating the Contraceptive Choice Project would prevent as many as 41% to 71% of abortions performed annually in the United States,” the study’s authors wrote.

Also worth noting: “Nearly half of the more than 6 million pregnancies that occur each year are unintended, and about 43% of them end in abortion. Further, about 1 million births are unintended, costing U.S. taxpayers about $11 billion a year in associated expenses.”

This is why the Affordable Care Act included birth control without a co-pay - it’s not just good for women’s health, it’s good for America’s taxpayers. And it's why the lawsuits to stop the birth control mandate are not just insulting to women but dumb, counterproductive public policy.

But the types of contraceptives used in the Colorado and St. Louis programs are the very ones that Hobby Lobby and the federal personhood bill sponsors – including Gardner – want to ban. IUDs and hormonal implants are more effective than the pill, especially among low-income, high-risk populations, because they work automatically once in place. Women don’t have to remember to take a pill every day and get a refill every month. They’re also the most expensive, from $500 to $1,000 for the device plus a doctor visit, so women who can’t afford them are less likely to use them.

So why don’t modern conservatives go back to their roots and get behind the government providing free or low-cost birth control?

Here’s why: because the core belief of modern conservatives doesn’t reside in sound public policy. It’s mostly concerned with telling women what to do and punishing them for having sex without permission or approval.
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 03:51:39 pm »

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/08/23/3474837/oklahoma-catholics-and-satanists/
8/23/14
How Satanists Are Testing The Limits Of Religious Freedom In Oklahoma

A legal dispute of biblical proportions flared up in Oklahoma this week, pitting Catholics against Satanists in a case that raises questions about when — or if — the government can uphold the religious claims of one faith group over another.

Earlier this month, a Satanic group in Oklahoma City known as the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu requested the use of the local Civic Center Music Hall on September 21 for the performance of a Satanic ritual known as the “Black Mass.” The announcement incensed local Catholics, primarily because the ritual, which has existed in various forms for several centuries, openly mocks the Roman Catholic Church and includes the intentional desecration of a “host,” or a wafer of bread used during the Catholic ritual of the eucharist. The city manager defended the decision to hold the event by citing the First Amendment, but the Archdiocese of the Oklahoma filed suit against the Satanists on Wednesday, arguing that the group intended to use stolen property during the event.

“If an authorized individual has possession of a consecrated host, it must have been procured, either by that person or by another, by illicit means: by theft, fraud, wrongful taking, or other for of misappropriation,” the lawsuit, obtained by ThinkProgress, claimed. “The Church maintains ownership of all consecrated hosts throughout the world.”

The Archdiocese’s legal argument against the Satanists revolved around a long-established Catholic belief regarding the ritual of communion. According to Catholic theology, a host undergoes a process called transubstantiation after it is consecrated by a priest, or when the bread is said to become the physical body of Jesus Christ. Only authorized individuals are allowed to handle the elements until they are distributed to congregants during communion, at which point, according to the suit, “…a person who throws away a consecrated host or who takes it or retains it for a sacrilegious purpose is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church.” Thus, the diocese posited that since the host cannot be removed from a church without the consent of a priest, the bread that the Satanists planned to use in their service must have been stolen, and should be returned to a Catholic church.

“Using a consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church and desecrating it in the vilest ways imaginable, the practitioners offer it in sacrifice to Satan,” Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, said in a statement. “This terrible sacrilege … mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we Catholics believe is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist when it has been consecrated by a validly ordained priest.”

But Adam Daniels, the leader of the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, told reporters that he didn’t steal the host — it was given to him by the priest.

“One of my priests in a foreign country is also a Catholic priest and he is the one who consecrated it himself and mailed it to me, and I’m not going to reveal his name and I’m not going to reveal what country he’s from,” Daniels told aleteia.org. Daniels later informed VICE News that the priest was from Turkey.

The lawsuit was ultimately resolved this week without having to go to court, as Daniels agreed on Thursday to return the wafers in exchange for the lawsuit being dropped. But the incident is still noteworthy, as it is but the latest in a growing number of “tests” to America’s understanding of religious liberty, and questions linger about what action, if any, police would have taken had the suit been put before a judge.

There are numerous examples throughout American history of legal courts weighing in on disagreements over religious law. In recent years, for example, various state courts have had to settle land disputes between churches attempting to break from their parent faith group and the denominations which, according to church law, technically own their property. States such as Texas have attempted to settle these suits by instituting “neutral” principles that strive to avoid bias towards one religious group. Thus, ideally, judges defer to the “established” beliefs of both faith traditions in a legal fight, respecting both parties unless the actions of one directly challenge the constitutional rights of another. (The U.S. Supreme Court, for its part, has generally refused to hear such cases, deferring to the decisions of the lower courts)

Similarly, the core concern in the Oklahoma case should be whether or not theft occurred, meaning the case came down to — with respect to Catholic beliefs — how the Satanists acquired the host in the first place. Writing for the Washington Post, UCLA School of Law professor Eugene Volokh argues that the case only had two possible legal outcomes:

    1. If the Satanists actually got a host — a piece of bread — that was owned by the Catholic Church, and was passed along by a church employee in violation of the terms on which he received the host, then they would have to give it back. The analogy would be if the San Diego Padres gave their players jerseys but only for purposes of playing in them, and one of the players sold his jersey to a fan; the jersey would still belong to the Padres, and the fan would have to give it back. The Satanists could then still conduct whatever rituals they wanted with their own property, but they’d have to get their own damned host.

    2. But if the Satanists got a renegade priest to say some words over a piece of bread that wasn’t owned by the Catholic Church, even if this action was specifically forbidden by the Church, then the bread wouldn’t be owned by the Church. The analogy would be if a Padres player wore his own shirt during practice and then sold it to a fan — something the Padres-player contract specifically forbade. The player would then be violating his contract, but the Padres wouldn’t get ownership rights to the shirt as a result of the breach of the contract (at least unless the contract was very specific on the player expressly transferring his property rights in all shirts he wears during practice; the Church’s petition doesn’t plead the analog of that, I think). Likewise, the Satanists would be able to lawfully acquire this host, which by hypothesis the Church never owned and never lent out on restricted terms.

But while these principles have been generally true for past cases, the ideal of a neutral legal approach to religious claims was recently called into question by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to grant the Christian craft store giant Hobby Lobby religious exemptions from the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Critics of the decision have raised concerns that Hobby Lobby was only given the exemption because of the prominent role Christianity plays in American society, with some wondering if the decision would have been different had the plaintiffs belonged to minority religious group such as Muslims — or, perhaps, Satanists.

Indeed, Satanists have repeatedly tested our nation’s dedication to sweeping religious freedom for all people of faith. In January, the New York-based Satanic Temple submitted an application to erect a seven-foot statue of Satan at Oklahoma’s state Capitol. The plans for the statue, which feature a goat-headed figure with horns and wings, were partially in response to the construction of a six-foot-tall granite memorial to the biblical Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds in 2012. When asked about the possibility of the Satanist structure, Rep. Don Armes (R-Faxon) openly acknowledged the double-standard of the community, telling the Associate Press, “I think we need to be tolerant of people who think different than us, but this is Oklahoma, and that’s not going to fly here.”

Satanists are even directly challenging the limits of the recent Hobby Lobby decision. In July, the Satanic Temple unveiled a campaign for their members to be exempted from “informed consent” laws that attempt to discourage women from having abortions. Just as the evangelical Christians who own Hobby Lobby argued that certain forms of contraception violated their religious convictions, members of the Satanic Temple argued that, as Satanists, their deeply-held beliefs about “scientifically valid information” should also excuse them from informed consent laws.

To be sure, the actions of Satanists will likely offend believers and non-believers alike, and there a valid question about how to responsibly engage with a group whose rituals intentionally deride people of other faiths. Nevertheless, Satanism is a religious tradition that has existed in various forms for millennia, and it is worth paying attention to how their activism — and, when it comes to the Black Mass, their freedom to perform their own style of worship — will impact our nation’s evolving conception of religious freedom.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 06:04:12 pm »

http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/why-republicans-arent-making-new-friends-with-their-call-for#2fi2oy5
Why Republicans Aren’t Making New Friends With Their Call For Better Contraceptive Access

Over-the-counter contraceptives are actually an idea conservative Republicans and progressive women’s advocates agree on. And yet…

9/9/14

WASHINGTON — These days, prominent Republican Senate candidates and at least one potential 2016 presidential candidate are championing the idea of over-the-counter birth control, setting up the potential for actual bipartisan action on the issue.

One problem: Doctors and pro-choice activists say they don’t actually believe the Republicans are serious.

For years, progressive-leaning (read: pro-choice) women’s rights groups, medical professionals, and drug manufactures have been calling for the contraceptives pill to be sold over the counter at pharmacies, without prescription. Now they have Republican support for the idea. People like Gov. Bobby Jindal, a social conservative and potential Republican presidential candidate, are arguing the policy is sound.

“I would generally follow the lead of associations the like the College of OBGYNs [sic]. We all too often have politicians become experts in things they know nothing about,” Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee for Senate in North Carolina and a proponent of over-the-counter contraceptives told BuzzFeedNews in an interview last week. “I think when you have an organization like the American Colleges of OBGYNs making these kind of recommendations we should look at them.”

But that support is sputtering out badly among medical groups and other longtime proponents of selling contraceptives like Tylenol. This week, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has gotten as far away from Tillis and his fellow Republicans over-the-counter contraceptives advocates as it possibly can.

“It makes me a little suspicious,” Dan Grossman, a doctor and ACOG’s chosen spokesperson when it comes over the counter contraceptives access, told BuzzFeedNews Monday evening. “They really don’t understand this issue in much depth.”

Grossman wasn’t done. “It seems a little disingenuous,” he added.

On Tuesday, ACOG president John Jennings took a softer tone in his own statement but the message was clear: The OBGYNs are not impressed.

“Recent political discussions on the importance of (over-the-counter) access to contraceptives are welcome,” Jennings said, “but ACOG remains firmly in support of comprehensive strategies to increase adoption of more-effective methods and to provide all women with the contraceptives they need at no cost.”

Meanwhile, the pro-choice groups have issued a collective eye-roll at the Republican proposals. After Colorado Republican Senate nominee Cory Gardner offered up his support for over-the-counter contraceptives, Planned Parenthood told the Huffington Post it was a “cynical ploy” designed to “whitewash” his past support for bills pro-choice women’s groups oppose like the so-called “personhood amendment”.

A deep political split over women’s health care access pits Republicans against pro-choice groups and medical professionals — there’s nothing new about that. But taken solely on its own, Republicans really are doing something new with contraceptives this election year and opening the door to some kind of bipartisan compromise on an issue near and dear to women’s rights groups.

For example, by calling for contraceptives without a prescription, Republicans are walking away from social conservatives. Religious Republicans mostly oppose the sale of contraceptives methods like Plan B taken after sex, but they generally don’t oppose the sale of conventional contraceptives (a pill, taken daily). They’re not thrilled at the prospect of people being able to buy it without a prescription, though.

“We would prefer that young women who get talked into doing things by, you know, boyfriends talk to a doctor,” said Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council’s PAC. “But we don’t take a position on straight birth control, only on abortifacients.”

Some social conservatives say drugs like Plan B are tantamount to abortion and are abortifacients, a stance not backed up by medical professionals.

Republican women’s groups aren’t jumping on the idea of over-the-counter contraceptives either, but they prefer it to Plan B.

“Any policy on birth-control medication should also take into consideration the important screenings that doctors perform in an office visit for a birth control prescription,” said Penny Nance, president of the conservative Concerned Women for America. “The bigger health issue however, is the fact that Plan B, which is 40 times stronger than birth control, is currently offered over the counter with no age restrictions.”

The thorny political issues surrounding contraceptives — abortion, Obamacare and women, social conservatism, women’s rights — are exactly the issues Republicans are trying to avoid by embracing over-the-counter contraceptives sales. But they’re also the issues keeping pro-choice women’s groups from giving the Republican proposals the time of day — even when they agree.

Over-the-counter contraceptives are also something just about everyone in the pro-choice movement wants. Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, ACOG, ACLU, and many, many more are all part of the Oral Contraceptives Over-the-Counter Working Group, an alliance focused on expanding access to contraceptives by eliminating the step of a doctor’s consultation. To the members of the group, an end to prescriptions for some contraceptives is a key in expanding access.

“There is evidence that the current prescription status for hormonal contraception may serve as a barrier to access for many women,” reads the group’s “statement of purpose.” Minority women would be especially likely to take advantage of over-the-counter contraceptives, the group says.

Not only does the working group want over-the-counter contraceptives, it wants changes to Obamacare to get it. Current Obamacare guidance states insurance companies must cover all FDA-approved forms of contraceptives without a co-pay, but if insurers wish, they may require a prescription to get contraceptives. They note that several states allow women to walk into drug stores with Medicaid cards and walk out with the only over-the-counter oral contraceptive available, Plan B, without any money exchanging hands.

“Our ideal: the pill would go over-the-counter and be covered by insurance over the counter,” Grossman said.

The insurance industry isn’t weighing in on whether contraceptives should be available over the counter, but a senior industry official said the FDA allowing the sale of contraceptives over the counter wouldn’t make much difference for coverage.

“Our sense is this wouldn’t have much impact on insurance at all. Even if it’s over-the-counter, health plans would still be required to cover it at no cost,” the official said. “As long as they don’t repeal the part of the law that says insurance must cover it, it would still be free to those with insurance.”

And here’s where the Republicans start losing their chance to make new friends in the contraceptives access advocacy community with their over the counter contraceptives message.

The ideal world of over-the-counter contraceptives pills for current Republican advocates is a world where the Affordable Care Act doesn’t exist, meaning it’s a world where insurance companies are no longer required to offer contraceptives with no co-pay whatsoever. Jindal, the Louisiana governor who is the most prominent Republican proponent of contraceptives over the counter, would like to lift requirements like that, a scenario that likely involves insurance companies charging what they want for contraceptives coverage.

“Insurers would probably continue to cover it because the market would demand it,” said a senior Jindal aide. But the goal of the policy change is to “get the federal government out of health care choices,” the aide said. In addition, Jindal wants to see drugs like Plan B banned. Jindal also wants an 18-year-old age limit on contraceptives sales, which most of the pro-choice groups oppose.

“We are very clear to use the word contraception,” said the aide. “The difference is between contraception and birth control after conception.”
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2014, 09:27:49 pm »

This is all by design...ultimately to put these draconian birth control pills over the counter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/cvs-birth-control-charge-illegal_n_5875174.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
9/24/14
CVS Caught Illegally Charging Women For Birth Control

CVS has been illegally charging women for birth control, violating an Obamacare provision that forces insurers to cover generic contraceptives at no cost to women.

Since learning of a price-coding error that erroneously charged approximately 11,000 women unlawful copays, CVS has moved to fix the problem and refund affected customers.

The issue was brought to public light by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) after one of her staffers was charged a $20 copay when trying to buy generic birth control at a CVS in Washington, D.C. Such a copay is illegal under the Affordable Care Act. Speier wrote a letter to Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, earlier this month.

"Although my staff member's issue was eventually resolved a week and numerous phone calls and pharmacy visits later, I am concerned that most women who are likely not familiar with their rights under the ACA may go without this essential family planning service that is supposed to be guaranteed to them under law," Speier wrote in a letter dated September 9.

On September 19, Sol J. Ross, CVS's head of federal affairs, responded to Speier, saying that the company was handling the issue.

"Refund checks will be [sent] to affected plan members by September 26," Ross wrote. "In fact, refund checks have already started to go out and all should be received by October 1."

CVS told The Huffington Post Wednesday that it had identified the glitch before receiving Speier's letter.

"We are committed to assuring that our customers receive the pharmacy benefits that are available to them and apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused," a CVS spokesperson wrote in an email.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of women no longer have to pay for preventative health services and screenings, like an annual check-up, pap-smears and generic birth control. According to a recent study from the Guttmacher Institute, the percentage of privately insured women who no longer have to pay out-of-pocket costs for birth control is growing quickly.

In fall 2012, before Obamacare went into effect, only 15 percent of insured women got free birth control pills. Today, that number is nearly 70 percent. The reason not all women today have health insurance that includes no-cost birth control is that some people are still covered by plans that are temporarily allowed to disregard this provision and other Obamacare rules. Eventually, virtually all health insurance will include no-cost contraceptives.
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 10:45:03 pm »

http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/California-to-expand-contraceptive-coverage-5783383.php
California to expand contraceptive coverage, eliminate co-pays
By Bob Egelko
Updated 7:41 pm, Friday, September 26, 2014

Health insurance policies in California will have to cover all federally approved contraceptives for women by 2016 without charging co-payments under legislation signed this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, countering trends in other states and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bill, SB1053 by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, expands state laws that required coverage for most birth-control drugs and devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new law mandates coverage for all FDA-approved contraception, prohibits co-payments and includes managed-care Medi-Cal plans, which are not expressly covered by current laws.

“No woman in California will any longer face the prospect of a health plan second-guessing or overruling the medical or family planning needs she and her health care adviser deem best for her,” Mitchell said in a statement Thursday after Brown signed the bill.

She said she hoped the law would be a model for other states looking to preserve contraceptive coverage in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in June that allowed private employers to deny coverage to female employees based on the employer’s religious objections to birth control.

The ruling was based on federal law, not the Constitution, and does not apply to states like California whose laws require insurance coverage for contraception. Current state laws and SB1053 allow churches and other religious institutions to withhold contraceptive coverage, but the exemption does not apply to other employers.

A number of states have responded to the ruling by seeking to limit access to contraceptives, while also enacting restrictions on abortion and abortion providers. California has some of the nation’s strongest abortion-rights laws.
[/red]

**Now where have we seen this script before?

Mitchell’s measure passed both houses on party-line votes. It was supported by reproductive-rights groups, labor unions and some physicians’ groups, but opposed by the insurance industry, which said it would increase costs and premiums. The California Catholic Conference also opposed the bill.

Brown also signed legislation Thursday that will prohibit state prisons from sterilizing inmates for the purpose of birth control. SB1135 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, followed disclosures by the Center for Investigative Reporting that doctors in the prisons had sterilized 148 women between 2006 and 2010 without the required state approval, and in some cases without the women’s consent.
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2014, 08:49:32 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/u-top-court-rejects-arizona-appeal-over-abortion-143917737.html
Top court rejects Arizona appeal over abortion drug law
12/15/14

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked Arizona from enforcing a state law that restricts access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses of RU-486, the so-called "abortion pill."

The high court's refusal to hear the state's appeal means that an April ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that prevented the law from going into effect while litigation continued will remain intact.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said the decision "effectively nullifies part of the statute."

The law would prevent women from using the drug between the seventh and ninth week of pregnancy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 2000 approval of the drug applied only up to the seventh week.

The "off-label" use prohibited by the law developed later and allowed the drug to be used up to nine weeks into a pregnancy.

The state said its justification for the law was the medical risk to women caused by using the drug for purposes that were not approved by the FDA.

Arizona is one of a number of Republican-governed states to enact laws seeking to place limits on abortion. The Supreme Court in October blocked some abortion restrictions in a Texas state law that abortion rights groups said would have forced all but a handful of clinics in the state to close.

Under the Supreme Court's 1992 precedent in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, an abortion regulation can be legal as long as it does not impose an "undue burden" on women seeking the procedure. In that case, the justices reaffirmed the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in which the court first held that women had the right to seek an abortion.

The Arizona case's legal dispute is over whether the appeals court followed the correct process in determining there was an "undue burden." In April, the appeals court issued a preliminary injunction stopping enforcement of the law.

Challengers including Planned Parenthood said the law effectively prevented all medication-based abortions.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said she was pleased "the courts are recognizing that these unconstitutional laws hurt women and block access to safe medical care."

The statute was part of a package of items in legislation signed into law by Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer in 2012.

The last time the Supreme Court took up an abortion-related issue was in 2007 when it ruled 5-4 to uphold a federal law banning a late-term abortion procedure.

The case is Humble v. Planned Parenthood, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-284.
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2016, 08:34:56 am »

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-fda-just-made-the-abortion-pill-easier-to-get/ar-BBr7Fwx?ocid=spartandhp
The FDA just made the abortion pill easier to get
3/30/16

New recommendations for the abortion pill announced Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration could increase use of the medication to terminate a pregnancy in the United States.

The new label changes the recommended dosage of the two drugs used in the abortion process. It allows the treatment to be used up to 70 days into pregnancy — three weeks longer than the previous guidelines. It also relaxes prescriber guidelines to allow, for example, a nurse practitioner to administer the drugs.

The reality in practice will not change for most abortion patients, as doctors for years have been legally diverging from the old FDA protocol based on new research. But a handful of states, including Texas and Ohio, have laws requiring abortion providers to adhere at least in part to the FDA-approved label, leading some providers there to all but abandon the use of the abortion pill.

“The label change for medication abortion will mean that it will once again be a real option for Preterm’s patients and women across the state,” Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm, an abortion provider in Ohio, said in a statement. “We will no longer be forced to practice medicine mandated by politicians whose ultimate goal is to shut us down.”

Antiabortion groups noted that the new label carries over the old label’s warnings of some of the dangers associated with the drug — including the very rare possibility of infection or death.

“The new label affirms the deadly realities of chemical abortion and underscores the need for in-person patient examination and follow-up care as well as the fact that the abortion drug regimen presents serious risks to women’s health,” Anna Paprocki, staff attorney for Americans United for Life, said in a statement.

The label change is effective immediately. It applies to Mifeprex, which is the brand name for mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in medication abortions. It blocks the production of progesterone, a hormone that prepares the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg. A day or two after taking that drug, the woman takes the second drug, misoprostol, which causes the uterus to contract and expel the pregnancy.

The FDA said that the manufacturer of Mifeprex, Danco Laboratories, applied for the updated label as part of a “supplemental new drug application” submitted to the agency in late May. The company proposed that the treatment be used to end a pregnancy through the first 70 days of gestation — that’s 70 days from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. Under the original labeling, the treatment was to be used only through the first 49 days of gestation.

The agency also approved changes in the doses of the drugs and the dosing regimen. Under the old regimen, a woman would take three Mifeprex tablets on the first day and two misoprostol tablets on the follow-up day. Under the new label, a patient would take one Mifeprex tablet on the first day and four misoprostol tablets 24 to 48 hours later. Under the revised label, women are advised to return to their health-care providers a week or two after taking Mifeprex. That recommendation was two weeks under the old label.

The FDA initially approved Mifeprex in September 2000, and women can get it from their health-care providers such as clinics, medical offices and hospitals, and under the supervision of a certified prescriber. It is not available in retail pharmacies or legally sold over the Internet.

The agency said that cramping and vaginal bleeding are possible side effects of the treatment and that in some cases surgery will be needed to stop very heavy vaginal bleeding. Other potential side effects, the FDA said, include headache, diarrhea, dizziness and vomiting.
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2016, 10:28:32 pm »

http://www.dbtechno.com/health/2016/04/09/california-pharmacists-birth-control-law-goes-into-effect/
4/9/16
California pharmacists Can Now Give Birth control Without A Prescription UPDATE

Birth control in California is now directly available  from a pharmacist without a prescription from their doctor.

The new law that allows California pharmacists to directly provide prescription contraceptives went into effect Friday.

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News reported. the new law gives pharmacists the ability to dispense hormonal contraceptives that women can administer themselves, including transdermal, vaginal and injection prescription birth control methods.

But it’s not a simple over-the counter process. Women requesting birth control will have to complete a health questionnaire, and a pharmacist will also consult with the patient about the most suitable form of birth control.
 
If the contraceptive requested poses a high blood pressure risk, the woman’s blood pressure must be taken before a prescription is issued.

Women still need to see a doctor to get an IUD or a contraceptive implant since they require a medical procedure to be administered.

Jon Roth, CEO of the California Pharmacists Association, which sponsored the original legislation on behalf of the state’s 6,500 community pharmacies said:

“Community pharmacies are the face of neighborhood health care — open beyond normal business hours, and patients do not need an appointment to see their pharmacist. That means pharmacists providing contraception will go a long way to expand women’s birth control.”

California joined Oregon as the only states that allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

Critics say the new law sends the wrong message to teenage girls by allowing them to more easily get contraceptives.

“They say it’s for women, but they mean anyone,” including teenage girls, California Right to Life spokeswoman Camille Giglio said.

“The ability to get contraceptives from yet another source is not a benefit to young people,” she added. “It is a barrier to communication between a mother and a child.”

California joined Oregon as the only states that allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

Critics say the new law sends the wrong message to teenage girls by allowing them to more easily get contraceptives.

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2016, 09:19:29 am »

Ultimately, they've done more harm than good. They reaped what they sowed.

http://americanupdater.com/breaking-hobby-lobby-to-close-all-stores-the-reason-why-is-heartbreaking/?utm_source=AmericanColumn&utm_medium=AmericanColumn&utm_campaign=AmericanColumn

BREAKING: Hobby Lobby To Close All Stores – The Reason Why Is Heartbreaking
August 22, 2016 Culture

With over 500 locations in 41 states, Hobby Lobby is one of the most popular stores in America. However, the brand has become controversial in the last few years since it refuses to back down from it’s strong Christian beliefs.

Liberals have been trying to shut down Hobby Lobby for years, but the chain has always remained strong: until now. According to American News, Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green just released an open letter explaining that he may need to close all of his stores. Here’s the full letter:

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word.

From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do.

We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest.

We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now, our government threatens to change all of that.

A new government healthcare mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.

Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs.

It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.

If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy.

Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running.

Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true.

The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business.

We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult.

The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American business should have to make.

The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.

Since you will not see this in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.

Sincerely,
David Green
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
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