Skip to comments.Why the Supreme Court Ignored Science in Hobby Lobby [BARF ALERT]
Posted on 07/11/2014 4:43:28 AM PDT by markomalley
There seems to be some confusion over at the Supreme Court about what can and can't induce abortion. In their ruling in the Hobby Lobby case last week, justices ignored the overwhelming scientific evidence that the contraceptive methods in contention do not in fact cause abortion, as defined by the medical community.
"If the owners comply with the [Health and Human Services] mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the Court's majority opinion. This, the justices determined, constituted a "substantial burden" on Hobby Lobby's religious rights.
At issue are four types of contraceptives: two of them, Ella and Plan B, are classified as "morning-after pills," and two others, Mirena and ParaGard, are classified as intrauterine devices.
"There are medications that prevent pregnancy and there are medications that cause abortions," said Dr. Lin-Fan Wang, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health, an organization that aims to bring medical expertise to discussions of public policy. The methods before the Court, she explained, "clearly worked to prevent pregnancy," not terminate it.
Even using religious conservatives' definition of when life beginsthe moment an egg is fertilizedthree of the four contraceptives can be proven not to lead to abortion, and scientists are almost as certain the fourth doesn't, either. (The New Republic has a useful graphic and explainer on the matter.)
Wang's group was one of more than a dozen in the medical community to sign on to an amicus brief detailing the scientific distinctions between contraceptives and so-called abortifacients. But all that mattered to the Court from a legal standpoint was simply that Hobby Lobby believes these contraceptive methods could somehow lead to abortions. As Talking Points Memo explained at some length Thursday, a statute of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects religious beliefs regardless of evidence. Call it an article of faith.
The Court also chose to ignore the health imperatives surrounding birth-control pills. As I highlighted last week, the pill is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including endometriosis, which will affect an estimated 11 percent of women in their lifetimes, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which affects 5 percent to 10 percent of the female population. For all women, the pill is the best protection there is against ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers women face, short of removing your ovaries or being born a man.
But you'd never know that from reading the Court's oral arguments, or majority opinion. Corporations and their religious beliefs about the way abortion works trumped all that.
In the days since I wrote about the health imperatives of birth-control pills, there's been some debate about how useful those themes are to the feminist cause. But that these scientific findings aren't being included in the Court's arguments should be troubling.
Here, for the Court's consideration, are several things women have been known to do that don't in fact cause abortion, no matter your beliefs: wear Spanx Underwear; take long, sweaty bike rides; watch Rachel Maddow; read Nora Ephron; andwait for ittake birth-control pills.
Ella: Ella (ulipristal acetate) is a synthetic progesterone agonist/antagonist. When taken immediately before ovulation is to occur, ella postpones follicular rupture. The likely primary mechanism of action of ulipristal acetate for emergency contraception is therefore inhibition or delay of ovulation; however, alterations to the endometrium that may affect implantation may also contribute to efficacy.
Plan B One Step: Plan B One-Step (levonorgestrel tablet) is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium).
Mirena (IUD): The local mechanism by which continuously released LNG enhances contraceptive effectiveness of Mirena has not been conclusively demonstrated. Studies of Mirena and similar LNG IUS prototypes have suggested several mechanisms that prevent pregnancy: thickening of cervical mucus preventing passage of sperm into the uterus, inhibition of sperm capacitation or survival, and alteration of the endometrium.
Paragard (IUD): The contraceptive effectiveness of ParaGard® is enhanced by copper continuously released into the uterine cavity. Mechanism(s) by which copper enhances contraceptive efficacy include interference with sperm transport and fertilization of an egg, and possibly prevention of implantation.
Stupid woman needs to do even 5 minutes of research before writing. Oh, I forgot, she's a journalist (i.e., one who works by reprinting press releases from leftist advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood)
It isn’t nor wasn’t about ‘science’ at all. It IS about belief systems and religion and the freedom from interference with them by government.
How plain do we have to make it for them? Use the Constitution to protect our freedoms, or do we force them at the point of a gun? Take your pick, liberals.
Sore losers will never stoop wailing and gnashing their teeth. Not to mention that this woman and all liberals miss the point of the decision, which is that government should not be able to coerce you into going against your religious beliefs.
My wife works for a catholic hospital. They certainly cover the use of othwise uncovered BCP when they are indicated for things other than contraception. I know this because she and my two post teen daughters get them.
All on the up and up. It took a note from the Doctor. This writer does not know what she is talking about.
And she writes as if these items were banned from the country.
My goodness, this moron not only misses the entire point of the decision, but doubles down on misinformation.
I do hope that they igored science in deciding whether the freedom of religion exists or not.
What is the implication of the article? That if my science doesn’t support your religion, then your rights are void.
Authentic Science should never disagree with Authentic Religion (think about it: the God who gave His Word also Created the heavens and earth and built the laws of nature upon which authentic science should be based).
On the other hand, pseudo-science that is based upon a false belief structure, should never be the basis of anything. For example, the pantheistic pseudo-science of global warming.
Her “science” is more doctor-who-believes-in-abortion-lies-to-support-abortion.
The MANUFACTURER of these products list abortion as a possibility while using these products. So....
More importantly, once she attempted to equate regular birth control pills, which can treat other medical problems, with these four devices (which are NEVER used to treat any other ailments), you knew she was completely full of CHIT!!
And the manufacturer isn’t even thinking of anti-implantation as a kind of abortion — but of grosser abortions.
Raising science to the status of a supra-religion?
If you don’t want a child, don’t have sex...science fact.
She doesn’t believe in Freedom of Religion.
Pray America wakes up
“Authentic Science should never disagree with Authentic Religion”
Good thing the 1st Amendment protects all religious freedom, and not just “authentic” religious freedom.
It wasn’t a Science test you moron. It was a LEGAL challenge to enforce the US Constitution.
If there is more than one religion and one of them is monotheist and one is polytheist, then they are mutually exclusive and one is not authentic.
The key to freedom of religion would be in allowing people the liberty to believe and practice religions that we ourselves consider to be "NOT Authentic". The only limitation should be in prohibiting practices that actively hurt others, like human sacrifice of virgins.
The Left wants to ban religious practice that passively harms others, e.g. "Your belief that its wrong to kill a baby, is preventing me from hiring you to kill some babies."
When I see a FR post about about about abortion Ill post this video:
Science shouldn't even be a factor in this decision. (Although it should have been when the Supremes made abortion legal throughout pregnancy.)
Pregnancy starts at implantation; therefore none of those four methods are abortifacients. Also, the regular birth control pill was NOT among any of those methods, although the author [purposely] confused that fact.
The bigger issue here isn't even Hobby Lobby's religious rights. The issue is whether a business should be forced to provide certain benefits to its employees. It should be a business decision whether to provide *any* health insurance coverage. And if the business decides to do that, then it is up to the business to decide what coverage to offer. Government has no right to force a business to offer benefits or to dictate what those benefits should be.
You do realize that the author stipulated the pro-life definition of when life begins:
Even using religious conservatives' definition of when life beginsthe moment an egg is fertilized
Sadly, the medical definition of the beginning of pregnancy leaves a gaping hole that allows a lot of lives to be lost.
99.9999999999999% of pro-life people say that life begins at the moment of conception (fertilization). There is a logic to this: chromosomes from the male gamete fuse with chromosomes from the female gamete to produce an entity with a chromosome pattern that is distinctly different than either. That's why we define the beginning of life to this point (at any point prior, the gametes are simply part of the parents).
The problem is that one of the mechanisms of action of any hormonal contraceptive (as well as a copper IUD) is that it does not allow implantation. Therefore, according to the medical definition of pregnancy, a pregnancy has not been terminated (as a pregnancy has not happened yet). However, an abortion did occur.
Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception
If a baby is mature enough so that he/she would be classed a "fetus" or "embryo", then it is fairly obvious. If a baby is so immature as to be a zygote or blastocyst (i.e., before implantation), the premature exit of the zygote or blastocyst would still be an abortion, as that would be the product of conception.
(Note: "abortion", by itself, is a morally neutral term. "Induced abortion" is another thing altogether)
Well, she certainly didn't read the decision, which explicitly discusses this argument, and says that the point is not whether these pills cause abortion but whether the business owners' religion believes they do.
But the decision likewise doesn't say "that government should not be able to coerce you into going against your religious beliefs," only that they can't do so without a strong reason. Otherwise, I'd start the "It's a Sin to Pay Income Taxes Church" and have 10 million converts by next Tuesday.
Well there is kind of a group like that, it’s called going Galt.
Yes, I read the article and saw that the author provided one interpretation of a pro-life definition of when life begins. The author did not seem to share that interpretation. It is not necessary to share that interpretation to be pro-life. Since my experience in medical research has given me the opportunity to observe countless millions of living human organisms that are not human beings first hand, my interpretation of what is a human being does not incorporate conception. Since we all experience the world through the processing of information in our brains, I think that the presence of a brain is crucial to the definition of a human being. Although brain cells only start forming about 3 weeks after conception, I think that using the definition of pregnancy--the implantation of the blastocyst--provides a perfectly good start point for granting legal protection to the embryo.