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Countering contraceptives

Gazette staff November 21st, 2012

The owners of Hobby Lobby and Mardel are continuing their quest to keep the Affordable Care Act from forcing them to provide emergency contraception insurance coverage to their employees. That vow — presumably made with a fist waved righteously in the air — came after U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton on Nov. 19 denied a preliminary injunction sought by the Green family, which owns the Christian-oriented businesses.

hobby+lobbyCredit: Mark Hancock

“Hobby Lobby must violate its faith and pay for abortion pills” shouted a news release following the judge’s decision. But the truth of the matter is a bit more complex.

Are emergency contraceptives tantamount to abortion? Medical experts believe they prevent ovulation or fertilization. It is not impossible that they could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

In other words, the drug acts before the pregnancy has begun. Can one abort a pregnancy that isn’t yet a pregnancy? What’s the sound of one hand clapping? If a tree falls in the woods and no one’s there to hear it...

But we digress. For now the 13, 612 employees of Hobby Lobby and Mardel will have insurance coverage for emergency contraception in the case of, say, condom breakage or rape. The Greens are none too happy about it and have appealed the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

At least their employees can take comfort that the Greens are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. Blood transfusions should continue to be covered.

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