Saturday, January 18, 2014

Question For Americans United for Separation of Church and State On Contraception HHS Mandate

Barry Lynn head of the Americans United For Separation of Church and State has an Op Ed up entitled Corporations have no right to religious freedom .

I disagree with most of this piece and the legal counterarguments to what he writes I have repeated countless times on this blog. However I wanted to focus on one part .

It's also important to remember that the mandate doesn't require anyone to pay for abortions. The abortion question is a red herring that has been raised by some groups to distract from the real issue. The cases before the Supreme Court concern access to birth control, not abortion. Some far-right religious groups know that they look extreme when they oppose birth control, which has become something that the vast majority of Americans use at some point in their lives

Thus, they are desperately trying to shift the focus to abortion, since people remain divided over that issue. No one should be fooled. Despite what Hobby Lobby and Conestoga might say, the mandate only requires employee access to birth control pills and devices such as IUDs and diaphragms.

 Claims that these medicines and devices cause abortions have been soundly debunked by scientists. Ironically, their consistent use would reduce the number of abortions.

I am not going to get into the controversy over the disputed science if some of these forms of " birth control " do not cause an abortion. The Courts have pretty much for the most part stayed out of that discussion .

However I want to ask Barry Lynn a question as to this so called red herring.

Is Barry Lynn making a commitment that Americans United would not support laws that would make employers cover abortion ? That is if we just replaced abortion with birth control is Barry Lynn saying they would have no problem with employers objections ?

I very much doubt it . Americans United have already filed a very LEGALLY  DUBIOUS lawsuit against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the abortion issue late last year .

In fact the pro choice  ( or if you prefer reproductive rights ) position on the  issue of abortion is a Gospel to them. See Americans United for Separation of Church and State leader to discuss stand in El Paso .

Also are we to  suppose Barry Lynn does not know that a precedent could be set in this case that could be used to say  employers would have to pay for abortions in the future.

In fact even though I am pro life and anti abortion I think LEGALLY the case for employers having to pay for an abortion is far more stronger than just for birth control in certain aspects . ( NOTE I DON'T SUPPORT THAT ARGUMENT BUT I THINK IT IS EASIER TO MAKE  ) .
So again American United for the Separation of Church and State if this is really just a red herring do we have a commitment from you that you would not use the outcome of this case to argue in the future for employers to pay for employees abortions. 

Somehow I doubt this. Especially if you are suing Catholic Bishops ( That own no hospitals ) that Catholic hospitals can't do abortions.However I am open to hearing their answer .


Anonymous said...

Abortion and any other form of birth control is the same moral issue. If a couple goes against God and nature, to prevent the birth of a child, their moral position is just as wrong whether they prevent the birth of that child by condoms, birth control pills, IUD, spermicides, diaphragm, unnatural sex acts, early abortion, or late-term abortion. It is rather ridiculous for people to say they are pro-life, so they use birth control.

Rick67 said...

Wait. Is Lynn addressing or glossing over the issue of abortifacients? "Birth control pills" that prevent implantation after conception? There is something of a debate over whether that constitutes "abortion" which depends more on how one defines abortion. Clearly anyone who thinks a human life begins at conception (which is a scientific fact, the debate is whether that new human life deserves legal protection, hence "personhood" as a moral and legal category) would object to "morning after" pills.

You raise an excellent point regarding "well then, would Lynn oppose if?" because that's been my frustration with the "religious liberty" types with whom Cooperative Baptist Fellowship tends to associate. For example, opposition to school vouchers because that means government paying for religion. I have always wondered, "well then, if those vouchers could *not* go to religious private schools would that be okay?" I have a feeling they just plain oppose vouchers in general and the religious angle is, to borrow a phrase, a red herring. I haven't had a chance to call them on their bluff so I could be wrong.

This is one of the reasons why this moderate Baptist minister is becoming increasingly disenchanted with "moderate" Protestant organizations.