Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

12/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The entire issue is an unnecessary attack on all people of faith

In a time of economic distress, with the lowest labor participation rate in 35 years, the Obama government has decided to force Hobby Lobby to provide contraceptive coverage for its employees that include drugs that are abortion-inducing, including the morning-after pill and week-after pill, or close its doors. Hobby Lobby has filed a suit against the HHS mandate, which claims that "The Green family's religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices."

Highlights

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/31/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Hobby Lobby, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, contraceptive mandate, Supreme Court, David Green, Green family, Pro-Life, Dr. Frederick Liewehr


RICHMOND,VA (Catholic Online) - Hobby Lobby is one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. David Green and his family started the company over 40 years ago, and have run it on Christian principles ever since. What are those principles and what makes Hobby Lobby one of the "good guys" in today's corporate world? In an op ed piece in the September 12, 2012 edition of USA Today, Green explained:

I've always said that the first two goals of our business are 1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and 2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've also raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

In a time of economic distress, with the lowest labor participation rate in 35 years, the Obama government has decided to force Hobby Lobby to provide contraceptive coverage for its employees that include drugs that are abortion-inducing, including the morning-after pill and week-after pill, or close its doors. Hobby Lobby has filed a suit against the HHS mandate, which claims that "The Green family's religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices."

The lawsuit says the family also has "a sincere religious objection" to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices (IUD's) and alleges they can cause the death of an embryo by preventing it from implanting in the wall of a woman's uterus. It also objects to the so-called "morning-after pill" which supposedly acts as an after the fact preventative measure (huh?) supposedly by preventing ovulation or fertilization, but often by preventing implantation, where the already fertilized egg tries to attach itself to the uterus. Thus, the "morning after pill" is in effect a chemical abortifacient. 

Let us briefly consider what is currently available in chemical "birth control". The first is the French "abortion pill" RU-486, which is a steroid hormone similar to progesterone called mifepristone. The purpose of this drug is to abort a pregnancy. American pro-life groups lobbied so effectively against its importation that the French company handed over the manufacturing rights to an American company formed to produce it called Danco Laboratories, who markets it as Mifeprex. It is used to produce abortion within 7 weeks after sex, although it has been used up to 9 weeks.

The other chemical "birth control" is the so-called "morning after pill" which is not a single drug but rather a cocktail of oral contraceptives with a higher dose of hormones. The dosage and frequency of administration vary, but all are to be taken some time after a woman has sex. The drugs are called Plan B and Levonelle, otherwise known as "the morning-after pill" and "the week-after pill." In some cases these pills may prevent ovulation, but in other cases they, like a mechanical IUD, inhibit implantation of the embryo. In cases in which the embryo cannot implant, it dies, and the drug acts as a chemical abortifacient. Many pharmaceutical companies prefer to euphemistically call this method of birth control as "emergency contraception" instead of the Morning-After Pill.

Hobby Lobby is right. The government demands that it provide abortion services to its employees that it correctly believes are immoral and against the law of God. If it does not comply, it will face fines of $1.3 million PER DAY, and will be forced to close the doors of its 400 stores, putting thousands of people out of work. I guess this is how Obama creates jobs.

The health care reform law includes a "religious conscience" clause that allows certain "recognized religious sects" an exemption to the individual mandate. This has been so narrowly interpreted that although a Catholic (or other religious denominated) parish may receive an exemption, a Catholic hospital, for example, may not. There is thus no consideration for anyone who wishes to actually practice during the week the beliefs he professes on Sunday. This seems to be the trend for the Obama crowd - give lip service to Constitutional rights but make sure they are not actually practiced. You may have religious beliefs, but make sure they don't leave your church building.

The amazing thing is that this issue need never have arisen. Obamacare was billed as "affordable health insurance" for everyone. What is overlooked is what health insurance really is.

Insurance is best exemplified by homeowners who are afraid that their houses might burn down and leave them homeless. The chance of that happening is not very good, but if it did, it would be devastating. So, since saving money for the loss would be financially impossible for most people, they pool their money instead, and if a fire should occur, that pool of money is used to rebuild the lost home. The amount they must pay for this insurance is calculated by actuarial tables that consider the likelihood of the occurrence, plus the operating expenses and profit of the insurance company that underwrites it.

Health insurance is similar. Paying for a catastrophic illness or accident is beyond the financial capability of most people, so using similar actuarial tables that consider the likelihood of the occurrence, a premium is set that reflects the cost of insurance. That premium varies according to the services covered and the likelihood of the person needing these services.

What has happened is that the health insurance industry has grown tremendously in America primarily because it was treated favorably in the tax law, both for employers and for employees. It was cheaper for employers and for employees to receive this as a benefit than to get an actual raise because it was treated favorably by the IRS. As a result of these third-party payers, the cost of medical care has also skyrocketed, as have consumer demands on the quantity and quality of health care they receive, since the insured have little or no incentive to restrict their use of the system when someone else is paying for it.

"Insurance" that covers something like birth control or dental hygiene appointments is absurd. From an actuarial standpoint, everyone needs to have their teeth cleaned twice a year. That is 100% utilization. To pay an insurance company to cover that means that the insurance company must pay out the cost plus its administrative cost and profit. Thus, the overall cost will be higher than if the patient simply pays the dentist for the cleaning. The only reason we have this absurd situation is that a third party is paying, not the patient himself.

The HHS mandate is similar. There is no reason for Obama's "health insurance" to cover contraception. For those morally inclined to use it, it is a 100% incidence. It is not like hospitalization for a car accident or a heart attack that occurs only to a small number in the insured pool; it has a 100% incidence and is not really insurance at all. Of course, whether contraception is "health care" also begs the question. The White House said on Tuesday that it believes a requirement on contraceptives is "lawful and essential to women's health".

Huh? I don't see women who are not using contraceptives dropping dead all around me. In fact, research is now showing that contraceptive use may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, increase the risk of cancer, and lead to increased risk of atherosclerotic plaque formation, which can produce clots that can cause serious injury and death if they travel to the heart, lungs or brain. This hardly sounds like something that is "essential to women's health" to me. But then, in pro-abort Newspeak, Planned Parenthood insists that abortions are part of "women's health", too.

Thus, the entire issue is an unnecessary attack on all people of faith. Birth control can be accomplished at no cost, and morally, through Natural Family Planning, and for those so inclined, mechanical means are available at very low cost at any drugstore. There is absolutely no need to include it in Obamacare. The issue is simply being pushed by the government as a control issue, another example of the trampling of our most precious liberties in yet another power play by the Administration.

The Hobby Lobby case is before the Supreme Court.  It is now up to this body, the same one that erroneously defined Obamacare as a "tax" and thus legitimate, instead of the unconstitutional forcing of the citizenry to purchase something they do not want to purchase that it actually is, to decide whether this mandate is Constitutional. The Supreme Court already opted not to take up a case challenging the Obamacare requirement brought by Liberty University, an evangelical protestant college in Virginia, instead opting to leave in place an appeals court's ruling striking down their lawsuit. This does not bode well for Hobby Lobby, and in this season of the Holy Family, they need our prayers.

---------- Dr. Frederick Liewehr is an endodontist who teaches and works in private practice. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1983, having been drawn ineluctably to Christ's Church by the light of Truth. He is a member of St. Benedict parish in Richmond, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Cooperator of Opus Dei.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

'It was an escape:' father of Scientology founder tells all Watch

Image of Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, opens up (20/20)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped the California Scientology compound known as the "Gold Base" and have stepped forward to share their story. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientology is a quiet religion shrouded in secrets - many of which are believed to be ... continue reading


No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


Sickening portrayal of Jesus pinned to a dartboard presented as art in university library Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An appalling portrayal of Jesus plastered to a dartboard was posted up as artwork inside the Art Library at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "art piece," titled "Vitruvian Man," shows Jesus nailed to the dartboard ... continue reading


Which bathroom should you use? And why is this a question? Watch

Image of Figuring out which restroom to use isn't supposed to be a dilemma.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The American people are seemingly obsessed with public restrooms these days and precisely how people use the potty. The fear is being stoked by concerns that individuals who "self-identify" as the opposite sex, will take advantage of liberal policies and assault ... continue reading


Prayer Is the Path to Real Freedom Watch

Image of Prayer is the lifeline of a Christian

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Jesus said to his disciples: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. CHESAPEAKE, VA. ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, 'Unless ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all nations your power ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:23-29
23 Jesus replied: Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23
10 In the spirit, he carried me to the top of a very high mountain, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 1st, 2016 Image

St. Marculf
May 1: Marculf is also known as Marcoul. He was born at ... Read More