If it wasn’t so serious, it would be hilarious. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have both made entirely incorrect statements about the Hobby Lobby decision.
And their statements weren’t just a matter of opinion. They got the facts wrong – blatantly, obviously wrong. So wrong, in fact, that you wonder if they even read the decision at all.
(The only good thing coming out of their statements is that I’m now inspired to offer Reid and Pelosi a trade.)
Harry Reid, on Roll Call, claimed that “five white men” decided the Hobby Lobby decision:
The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.
Five white men, huh? Anyone care to take a look at Justice Clarence Thomas?
While Harry Reid’s statement is misleading and entirely wrong, Nancy Pelosi’s comments are even worse. The Hill reports:
“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. …
“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”
Religious liberty arguments aside, let’s discuss the three factually wrong claims Pelosi made:
1) The five justices did not make any forms of contraception illegal. They simply agreed that Hobby Lobby has a First Amendment right not to pay for abortion-inducing birth control.
2) The case had absolutely nothing to do with diaphragms. No one claims that diaphragms cause abortions. Hobby Lobby has never objected to paying for diaphragms, and they will continue to provide insurance for them.
3) Hobby Lobby – the “boss” Pelosi was referring to – doesn’t tell their employees what form of birth control to use. They’ve simply taken a stand stating which forms they believe (and science agrees) cause abortions, and they’ve rightly refused to pay for those forms. The four forms Hobby Lobby objected to paying for are the Copper/Paraguard IUD, the Mirena IUD, Plan B, and Ella. All have been proven to cause early abortions, and other forms of birth control are believed to cause early abortions as well.
Sigh. How can it be possible to get so many obvious facts wrong? Well, I guess if a person is looking to purposely mislead the public, smear the reputations of those who claim their religious freedom, and stir up a frenzy among women who falsely believe they’re being attacked, it’s not that hard.
Senator Reid and Leader Pelosi, I’d love to make it simple for the two of you. There is no difference in the owners of Hobby Lobby objecting to paying for abortion-inducing birth control and objecting to paying for abortion itself. If Americans don’t have the right to religiously object to paying for the deaths of innocent human beings, our religious liberty means very little at all. Thankfully, neither of you are on the Supreme Court, so neither of you have the right to take away our First Amendment rights.
Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – if you have such a large objection to “five white men” deciding cases related to women’s “reproductive rights,” I’d love to trade you a case for a case. I agree to have Hobby Lobby overturned, if you agree to have Roe v. Wade overturned.
After all, that one was decided by seven white men. (According to Harry Reid’s definition of white men, that is. There were actually six white men and one black man.)