Friday, the Trump Administration issued a new rule through Health and Human Services, exempting companies that have a “sincerely-held religious or moral objection” from having to provide birth control to employees through their insurance plans. Planned Parenthood immediately denounced it as “an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on.”
Kudos to Planned Parenthood for that wonderful example of verbal sleight of hand designed to panic American women. By using the phrase “the vast majority of women,” they imply that that’s who the policy change will affect. It won’t. This was one of the most controversial aspects of Obamacare. It resulted in the unconscionable image of the federal government hauling the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns who help the indigent terminally ill, into federal court and costing these nuns under a vow of poverty huge legal fees in an attempt to force them to violate their sacred beliefs by paying for birth control and abortifacient drugs.
It sparked expensive court cases by private companies such as Hobby Lobby to defend their Constitutional protection against government encroachment on their freedom of religion, cases that the government lost. It affects a miniscule number of privately-held, genuinely religious employers, and other accommodations can and have been made for providing those workers with coverage, as long as it’s not paid directly by the employers in a way that violates their First Amendment rights.
When you examine the facts of this move, who is really showing more contempt for women? The Trump Administration, which is trying to end further (likely successful) expensive legal challenges to the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional overreach that affects at most 0.1% of employers? Or liberals who think that women can be bamboozled and panicked into believing that the “vast majority” of employer health care plans are suddenly going to stop covering a basic benefit that costs only about $20 a month?
This reminds me of something I often think of when I listen to liberals making “the sky is falling” speeches designed to panic Americans into voting for them: “Are you really that stupid, or do you just think that we are?”
And without missing a beat, the ACLU immediately sues the Trump Administration over its exemption from the Obamacare contraception coverage mandate for private companies with sincere religious objections. The ACLU calls the exemption “blatantly unconstitutional,” despite the fact that in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court already famously ruled that forcing such companies to abide by the mandate is unconstitutional. I can’t imagine I’m about to say this, but maybe the ACLU’s lawyers need to read the New York Times more often.
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