At Salon, Katie McDonough posted excerpts from court briefs filed in support of the “Hobby Lobby” suit that claims the contraception coverage mandate is a violation of the employers’ religious liberty. Since these are public documents I thought I’d just post it all here and give my reactions.
Beverly Lahaye Institute
Relying entirely on the 2011 IOM Report, the Government asserts that by increasing access to contraceptives, the Mandate will promote public health by decreasing unintended pregnancies. At the risk of stating the obvious, getting pregnant is not like catching a contagious disease.
At the risk of stating the obvious, it is well documented that there is a strong correlation between use of birth control and reduced numbers of unwanted pregnancies as well as fewer abortions.
If the Government intends to broaden the definition of ‘women’s health and well-being,’ and thus the goal of the Mandate, to include non-health related concepts such as emotional well-being and economic prosperity,
Yeah, it’s not like pregnancy or other gynecological issues treated by birth control pills have anything to do with women’s health.
then it should likewise have considered the documented negative effects the widespread availability of contraceptives has on women’s ability to enter into and maintain desired marital relationships.
Men don’t want to marry women who aren’t breeders?
This in turn leads to decreased emotional wellbeing and economic stability (out-of-wedlock childbearing being a chief predictor of female poverty), as well as deleterious physical health consequences arising from, inter alia, sexually transmitted infections and domestic violence.
So if we let women use birth control, they are more likely to have out of wedlock children, get STDs, and get their teeth knocked out by thuggish boyfriends? And didn’t you just say that touchy-feely stuff isn’t a legitimate women’s health issue?
American Freedom Law Center
Thus, it has come to pass that the widespread use of contraceptives has indeed harmed women physically, emotionally, morally, and spiritually — and has, in many respects, reduced her to the “mere instrument for the satisfaction of [man’s] own desires.” Consequently, the promotion of contraceptive services — the very goal of the challenged mandate — harms not only women, but it harms society in general by ‘open[ing] wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.’
Yeah, before 1960, when they invented The Pill, there were no cheating spouses or rape or prostitution or any of that stuff, and women were respected by men for their minds and good character. (/snark)
Responsible men and women cannot deny this truth.
Call me irresponsible, then. At least I’m not stupid.
Eberle Communications Group, Inc., D&D Unlimited Inc., Joyce Meyer Ministries, Southwest Radio Bible Ministry, Daniel Chapter One, U.S. Justice Foundation, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, Institute on the Constitution, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Policy Analysis Center
Stripped of its “evidence-based” facade, the IOM Committee Report encourages amoral recreational sex without reproductive consequences to be the optimal “quality of life” and “life course orient[ation]” for all American women.
(Raises hand) Does this mean that postmenopausal women are all supposed to be nuns?
The IOM Committee’s message is unmistakable. Female sexual activity without risk of pregnancy is to be encouraged by the contraceptive mandate, not only by making a wide range of contraceptives available, but by an education and counseling program designed to ensure that more and more women do not get pregnant unless “at the point of conception” they want to.
Yeah, it’s not like women should have any say about whether we get pregnant or not. Let us control our own reproduction, and the next thing you know we’ll be wearing pants and flying airplanes and demanding the vote.
This mandate is grounded in the “opinion” of the IOM’s 16-member committee that a woman’s “health and well-being” are adversely affected by the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.
We’re all just cows. We’re supposed to drop our calves every spring and not make a fuss about it.
Westminster Theological Seminary
[The] government’s argument goes, the Mandate promotes women’s health because making abortifacients cost-free will enable women who want to be sexually active but do not want to be pregnant will avoid the risks of self-destructive behaviors by stopping pregnancies that may later contribute to their engaging in such behaviors.
I’m not even sure what that says. I think there’s a syntax error in there somewhere. And I take it all birth control methods are “abortifacients.”
The motivation by those using abortifacients is to avoid pregnancy, not to avoid their own supposed, possible, subsequent self-destructive behaviors that might attend an unwanted pregnancy.
In other words, if women didn’t make such a Big Bleeping Deal about unwanted pregnancy, everything would be just fine.
Therefore, by contending that using abortifacients will guard against the adverse health effects of self-destructive behaviors by avoiding pregnancy, the government, in effect, is purporting to protect women’s health without their knowing it.
This makes sense only if one assumes all women are colossally stupid.
The Mandate does not purport to protect women from discrimination based on their being women or based on their being pregnant. What it purports to do is to provide women a cost free way to avoid exercising an aspect of their womanhood — their unique capacity to bear children. Promoting gender equality in that way does not, and cannot, legitimize the Mandate. But beyond that, abortifacient use can never achieve gender equality when it comes to pregnancy avoidance. Abortifacients can terminate an existing pregnancy.
The vacuity is strong in this one.
Women Speak for Themselves
It is “demeaning and destructive” to argue that contraception helps women achieve equality. Most women aspire to and do rear children deserve social support.
Women should have equal opportunity only to stay barefoot and pregnancy and not have anything to say about it. Also, more syntax issues.
Make of all this what you will.