19 Senate Democrats Join Fight to Force Hobby Lobby to Pay for Abortifacient Drugs
January 28, 2014 - 7:10 am
The Green family were literally minding their own business when the Democrats passed and President Obama signed Obamacare into law. The Greens own Hobby Lobby, their family business. Obamacare forces the Green family, who are evangelical Christians, to pay for drugs and services as part of the health insurance plans that they offer their employees, that the family finds objectionable on religious conscience grounds. Before Obamacare, they had the freedom to contract for, or not contract for, those services that violate their religious beliefs. They chose not to contract for them, but Obamacare takes that freedom away from them.
My preamble is intended to point out a simple fact: The Greens were not looking for a fight over birth control, abortifacient drugs, or any of that. They were operating a successful chain of arts and crafts stores. The Democrats brought that fight to them and are forcing the family to wage a lengthy battle in court just to preserve the religious rights that they already had before Obamacare. The war being waged through this issue is not a “war on women,” but a war on religious freedom, and the Democrats from Obama down are the aggressors in that war.
Now, 19 Senate Democrats have taken the war a step farther. Yahoo news reports that they have filed an amicus brief supporting the Obama administration’s drive to force the Greens to violate their religious consciences.
In a brief to be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, 19 Democratic senators are siding with the Obama administration against evangelical Christian businessmen who argue that paying for their employees’ birth control, a requirement under Obamacare, violates their company’s religious freedom.
Hobby Lobby is a family business, which means men and women operate it. Yahoo’s Liz Goodwin’s use of “Christian businessmen” isn’t entirely accurate. Watch what Goodwin does next.
The senators—five of them women—argue in their “friend of the court” brief that the owners of the Oklahoma-based crafts store chain Hobby Lobby are not exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate simply because some forms of birth control offend their religious beliefs.
She highlighted “business men” on one side, then the five women on the other. That’s an insidious and intentionally quarrelsome set-up, given the facts that Hobby Lobby is a family business and the majority of the senators filing the brief today are actually men.
The Democrats signing this brief may be mostly men, but they’re shrewd enough to put a female face on the effort.
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, a Democratic senator who led the amicus brief effort, is planning to criticize Huckabee and other Republican opponents of the mandate in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday announcing the brief.
“Allowing a woman’s boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice or choice,” Murray will say, according to prepared remarks provided by her staff.
That’s not what’s going on at all and Murray knows it, but this is the sort of thing one might expect from the party that literally booed God at its national convention. Huckabee already played into their hands, and now every Republican who comments on the mandate can expect to hear from General Patty Murray, field commander in the War on Women.
The whole effort is laughable and ought to discredit the Democrats for a decade, but the fact is, there is a purpose to the thing. This will be a motivator among the entitlement-minded Sandra Fluke set out there and the unthinking hard left.
These people literally want to force nuns and Christian family business owners to pony up for their own birth control. It’s not about cost — despite Fluke’s ludicrous claim that birth control costs a small fortune, it costs about $9 a month at Walmarts and Walgreens. It’s not about cost, it’s about power, and it’s about stirring up the phony “war on women” one more time because it’s politically useful.
There’s an end game in sight through all this, for the mandate set. If they win, then the right of government to crush individual conscience will be enshrined in case law. That right won’t be limited to nuns and Christians families who own businesses.
If they lose, birth control becomes another wedge issue they can use to put Republicans on the defensive and divide the party along libertarian and evangelical lines, with the libertarians not actually showing much energy to defend individual liberties that don’t involve same-sex marriage or pot legalization.
Here are the field commanders in this war against the right to think:
The other senators who signed the brief are: Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulsi (D-Md.), Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
They’re only among the most partisan, hard left Democrats, who hail from the blues of blue states.
Update: Sen. Ted Cruz is leading a group of Republicans filing a brief supporting the Greens. All the Republicans in that group are men, so far. The Democrats and the media will surely turn that to their advantage.