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Birth control: Not my boss's business

Clare Hinshaw

Women chant at the Relious Freedom Rally March 25, 2014. Credit: Addie Mena/ CNA.

“Birth Control: Not My Boss’s Business” proclaimed the signs at the Planned Parenthood organized rally outside the Supreme Court last week. The group gathered to support the unconstitutional HHS Mandate which forces employers to include life-ending abortifacient drugs and devices in any health care plan that they provide for their employees.

I stood on the other half of the sidewalk at a religious freedom rally in support of the owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties who were inside the court arguing for their constitutionally guaranteed right to practice their faith without government interference.

Both the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties companies are run by devout Christians who cannot pay for abortifacients without violating their faith. The HHS mandate makes no exception for them but instead, with blatant disregard for the principles on which America was founded, imposes crippling fines on any employer refusing to comply. In fact, the fines are eighteen times greater for an employer who provides health insurance that does not cover abortifacients than for an employer who provides no health insurance at all.  This puts the lie to the idea that the primary purpose of Obamacare is to provide affordable healthcare for Americans rather than to militantly impose a liberal ideology.  As The Weekly Standard reports:

“If your employer offers you insurance that doesn’t provide free ella [an abortifacient drug], or anything else on the list of ‘preventive services’—as defined by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and ultimately by Obama—then it’s subject to a fine of $36,500 a year.  But if your employer doesn’t offer you insurance at all, it’s subject to a fine of $2,000 a year.  Actually, for now your employer’s choice is between fines of $36,500 or $0, as Obama has extralegally decreed that fines for not providing insurance (but not fines for providing insurance that doesn’t cover all “preventive services”) will be waived until after we get to the other side of the midterm elections.”

The fact is, the Planned Parenthood signs were exactly right: birth control is not my boss’s business.  As one of the speakers at the religious freedom rally stated “I’m a big girl.  If I wanted to use [abortifacients] – I don’t, but if I did – I would buy it myself.” 

It is not the business of my boss to pay for every harmful drug I wish to put in my body.  And make no mistake, these are harmful drugs.  They release significant amounts of hormones and chemicals into a woman’s body with the purpose of causing her body to behave unnaturally in order to prevent a natural process.  For such a health conscious society we are awfully flippant about manipulating a woman’s reproductive system.  As a woman, I applaud Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood for taking a stand for women’s health.   

It is also not the business of my boss to finance my decision to destroy a human life.  Abortifacients, which include such drugs and devices as ella, Plan B, and intra-uterine devices (IUDs), are commonly mislabeled as contraception. Though they can act as contraceptives if taken early enough, the primary function of these products is to go to work after a child has been conceived in order to end the life of that child. The drugs and hormones which the products release act to prevent the child’s implantation in the uterus, so that he or she has no safe haven in which to grow and is therefore expelled from the mother’s body.  Ella goes one step further in blocking the release of the hormone progesterone.  This hormone is naturally released by a woman’s body in order to build up the lining of the uterus, making it a nourishing environment for a human to develop in.  When ella blocks the body’s release of this hormone the mother’s body is unable to provide nourishment to the child who effectively starves to death.  In this way, ella is eerily similar to RU-486, the abortion pill.

Finally, it is not the business of any government - and particularly the American government - to force my boss to pay for these poisons.  All throughout history governments have attempted to impose their secular values on people of faith.  In the 1600s British citizens began migrating to the new world in large part to escape the tyranny of a state imposed religion which persecuted them for practicing their faith, not just in their churches, but also in their daily lives.  In recognition of this, the very first amendment our founding fathers made to the United States Constitution stated both that the government shall not impose a state religion and that it shall not prohibit anyone’s free exercise of their religion.  For the government to demand that business owners pay for life-ending drugs, in direct contradiction to their religious beliefs, is a monstrous example of the exact sort of tyranny which this country was founded in opposition to.

Abortifacients are not my boss’s business, nor are they the government’s.  If Planned Parenthood really believes that, then they will join us in fighting to get the government out of our Churches, out of our businesses, and out of our health care.

Topics: Abortion , Contraception , Current Events , Faith , Religious freedom , Young Women

Clare Hinshaw is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Catechetics with minors in Theology and Human Life Studies. She served as the president of the student chapter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights at Kellenberg Memorial High School on Long Island. At Franciscan University she served as the vice president of the College Republicans and was trained as a pro-life sidewalk counselor.

View all articles by Clare Hinshaw

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December 21, 2014

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