Why Against Birth Control?

RFDreligiousfreedom3-sfSpanWhen reading that Hobby Lobby and other like-in-cause corporations won their Supreme Court challenge to forgo covering birth control for their employees due to religious objections, I wondered why are they so against birth control? Then when I was doing further reading in the NYT I found two great pieces in which the first poses, and then the second answers.

First, I found this quote in the Room For Debate op-ed feature of the NYT with a short piece by “Douglas Laycock, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Virginia. He wrote an amicus brief in the Hobby Lobby case on behalf of a coalition of groups led by the Christian Legal Society.” He writes:

Making Hobby Lobby pay for contraception methods that might also cause abortions… [My italics]

So I thought I found my answer to why Hobby Lobby and their legal cohorts fought the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for forcing them to cover women’s birth control: It’s tantamount to abortion.

But then I found a piece in The Upshot section of the NYT by that put this claim to rest. He writes that…

The owners of Hobby Lobby told the Court that they were willing to cover some forms of contraception but believed that the so-called morning-after pills and two kinds of IUDs can cause what they believe to be a type of abortion, by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall or causing an already implanted egg to fail to thrive.

As colleagues have noted, the scientific consensus is against this idea…Even without contraception, fertilized eggs often fail to implant naturally.

Carroll goes on to explain, with linked citations to medical journal articles, that neither IUD’s nor morning-after (Plan-B) pills cause abortions under this definition. He states:

Moreover, the fact that both of these forms of contraception can fail, and allow pregnancies to occur, provides evidence that if a fertilization occurs, it can move on to implant and grow.

So Carroll’s answer to my question proves one thing: the owners/founders of Hobby Lobby and their fellow plaintiffs are misinformed. In the Carroll piece, he goes into how IUD’s work stating that not much is known about their form and explicit function, hence a probable load of PR against them. These corporation owners need to step away from religious, right-wing, Pro-Life propaganda and get informed by the science.

 

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Politicos Protected by Smartphone Decision, Too

26SCOTUS-master675Today all nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices agreed that a search of one’s cellphone without a warrant by a law enforcement agency is a violation of the fourth amendment and requires the obtaining of a search warrant. In Chief Justice John Roberts written opinion he stated that,“Cellphones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals,” but, “Privacy comes at a cost.”

Upon the first reading of this decision one might think that criminals are the only ones being protected by this opinion for they may now more easily use their smartphones to set up illegal enterprises. But what about us that are politically active? Three reasons we and like-minded folks should be thankful for this decision: COINTELPRO, Project MINARET, and the FBI.

As Wikipedia can so much more eloquently explains:

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligencePROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.[2]National Security Agency operation Project MINARET targeted the personal communications of leading Americans who criticized the Vietnam War, including Senators (e.g., Frank Church and Howard Baker), civil rights leaders (e.g., Dr. Martin Luther King), journalists, and athletes.[3][4]

Do a good read-up on COINTELPRO and Project MINARET, which took place from the 1956 to 1971, and tell me that your not in support of this decision. Could you imagine if J. Edgar Hoover ever got MLK’s or the Students for a Democratic Society’s smartphones what changes in history may have occurred?

 

 

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Should Police Be Able To Search Your Cellphone?

d13c4308-33a2-4369-a3a7-d352625b0a29-460x276A great op-ed by Yochai Benkler on the arguments heard today by the Supreme Court regarding two cases revolving around the question of whether or not police should be able to search your cellphone without a warrant if you are arrested.

While arguing against warrant-less searches of ones smartphone, he asks the question will the Court become a technical legalistic court, or a broad constitutional-vision court able to keep up with the fast-moving technology of today and tomorrow.

Read Here.

 

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Supreme Court’s Campaign Finance Ruling

03court1-articleLargeA good graphic from the NYT that breaks down the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling that regarding campaign finance law.

See/Read Here.

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The Right to Health Care-Funded Contraception

26SCOTUS-ss-slide-2SLI-largeHorizontal375A couple of articles in the NYT that cover all of the angles regarding the arguments the Supreme Court is hearing regarding the ACA’s requirement that employer-funded insurance programs cover contraception costs for their employees.

Read a general Q&A piece here.

Read the report on today’s arguments here.

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Supreme Court and Prayer in Townhall Meetings

supreme_court_buildingIn Greece vs. Galloway, an important battle for the separation of church and state is examined by the Supreme Court regarding whether town board meetings can be begun with mostly Christian prayers.

Read Here.

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Busy Term for Supreme Court Includes Important Rulings

supreme_court_buildingAn article from the NYT regarding the controversial cases planned to be taken up by the Supreme Court this term. There are some very important cases that make soon be before the judges.

Read Here.

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The 5 Ways Gay Marriage Can Win at the Supreme Court – Molly Ball – The Atlantic

The 5 Ways Gay Marriage Can Win at the Supreme Court – Molly Ball – The Atlantic.

A great summarized prep in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling coming today.  Let’s hope we get ruling #1 and the inevitable legalizing of gay marriage for all will finally come to the United States.

Will the Supreme Court Continue to Show Cowardice on Gay Marriage?

Gay marriage before Supreme Court? Cases weighed – Yahoo! News.

The Supreme Court will decide whether it will finally take up the issue of gay marriage for the entire country or not and a few lines from this article say it all:

Gay marriage before Supreme Court? Cases weighed - Yahoo! News

Throughout U.S. history, the court has tried to avoid getting too far ahead of public opinion and mores. The high court waited until 1967 to strike down laws against interracial marriage in the 16 states that still had them…”What do they have to gain by hearing this case? Either they impose same sex marriage on the whole country, which would create a political firestorm, or they say there’s no right to same-sex marriage, in which case they are going to be reversed in 20 years and be badly remembered. They’ll be the villains in the historical narrative,” said Andrew Koppelman, a professor of law and political science at Northwestern University.

The truly wrongheaded thinking here is that the political firestorm would be such a bad thing.  The professor is definitely right about the outcomes he is suggesting but the question that should be asked here is, what do we truly have to fear from this so-called firestorm?  Will there be rioting?  Looting?  A zombie apocalypse?  Will team Edward or Jacob rise to victory?

The fact is we are admitting a decision against gay marriage will be overturned at some point in the near future and will be forever frowned upon by the generations to come.  So why not just get to the equal-for-all part of this issue by legalizing it nationwide now?  Even if there is a firestorm, why should anyone fear it?

The only element stopping this decision from already being made is the inability of people to change their minds and come to grips with the reality gay marriage is just fine and is fair for those currently being oppressed.  Why should the country be held back in progressing toward equality because a shrinking minority of people think the wrong way on a certain issue?

It’s sad the Supreme Court has chosen cowardice over justice for so long on gay rights and may continue to do so.  It’s even more heartbreaking our generation will be burdened with this ideology being associated with us in the forthcoming history books just as the Supreme Court decisions of the 1800s regarding slavery and Jim Crow laws will forever be intertwined with American beliefs of that century.  It’s a disgrace that only a tiny group of people have the power and ability to change and they still seem to be too afraid to do what is right.

Romney Would Bring Back Bush-Era Torture

There is a Romney campaign document, obtained by The New York Times, that’s a five-page policy paper entitled “Interrogation Techniques” drawn-up by conservative lawyers from Sept. 2011. It contains how Romney would use enhanced interrogation techniques against high-level terror suspects, including water-boarding and stress positions, that have been banned by the Obama administration.

Read Here.