Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vicari: Victory for religious freedom is victory for women


The reactions by so-called women's groups and "abortion rights" advocates to Monday's Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby religious liberty case have ranged from the merely ignorant to the downright hysterical. At the root of them all is deceitfulness masquerading as concern for "women's health." Chelsen Vicari, author of the upcoming book, Distortion: How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel and Damaging the Faith, offers a healthy dose of reality to women (and men) who are being deceived by the liars on the Left.
The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold citizens’ First Amendment right to live and work according to our moral convictions should not scare women. What should frighten us is the deceptive and potentially harmful misinformation so-called “progressive” voices within pro-abortion lobby groups, mainstream media, and, most disappointingly, from some within the Church are feeding us.

Lending to the “war on women” outcry yesterday was Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. According to Huffington Post, Richards stated, “Today, the Supreme Court ruled against American women and families giving bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage.”

First, let us quickly debunk Richards’ misleading sentiments by clarifying that women are not denied access to birth control coverage. In fact, Hobby Lobby and Constenaga Wood are willing to provide 16 out of the 20 forms of contraception dictated by the Obama Administration’s invasive Health and Human Services mandate. The point of contention arose when the Southern Baptist Green family and Mennonite Wood family declined to pay for abortion-inducing emergency contraception, including Plan B, Plan B One-Step, Next Choice, and Ella.

Just to prove that the Supreme Court decision did nothing to limit women from accessing these four abortifacients, this morning I visited my local CVS pharmacy. Walking straight back to the pharmacy I simply asked, “Do you sell Plan B?” The young female attendant said, “No, but we have the generic version Next Choice.” The cost of came to about a little over $40.00.

I declined to finalize the sale, but did notice that there were no conservative evangelicals or conservative politicians forbidding me—a 26 year-old woman—from accessing these abortion-inducing drugs. Am I really supposed to believe that my health is at risk because my boss will not pay for it?

Second, and most importantly, Richards ignores that women actually won yesterday. Although opponents of the court’s ruling are directing women by focusing on a “personhood of corporations” argument, it is vital to remember that behind the Christian family-run business Hobby Lobby and Conestoga are women. Namely, Barbara Green and Elizabeth Hahn sought protection to live by their convictions. These women and their families were [victors] and we should celebrate their courage to defend their constitutional rights in the face of fierce hostility.

In addition, Hobby Lobby’s legal counsel consisted of several women including Lori Windham. Speaking for the Green and Hahn family, Windham shared, “Women’s voices are heard standing up for religious freedom. This case is about the freedoms of all Americans, women and men. And it’s something that all Americans should celebrate.”
She also takes a few "progressive" men who claim to be "evangelical Christians" to task for misleading women with their specious arguments.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), is one such voice inside the Christian community that sees so-called “reproductive” rights as women’s ticket to freedom. The RCRC is a coalition including the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ (UCC). Outraged by the court’s ruling, RCRC stated, “Real religious liberty protects the rights of women to make thoughtful decisions about whether and when to use contraception in private consultation with their doctors, their families and their own faith – there is no place for a boss’s beliefs in such conversations.”

Missing the point, Rev. Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, wrote, “The supporters of Hobby Lobby think they are being ‘pro-life.’ They are wrong. A massive study conducted in 2012 showed that contraception coverage without a co-pay could dramatically reduce the abortion rate.” Since when is the Hobby Lobby ruling about monthly contraception?

Again, David Gushee and Brian McLaren, two leading voice among the Evangelical Left, both raised the same question, “Are critics taking seriously the public health benefits of no-cost contraception coverage, and the moral benefits of the likely dramatic reduction in the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions?”

Aside from the fact that these professing believers do not acknowledge that these drugs are life-terminating, these men are misleading women to believe these drugs are safe and regular forms of birth control.
Note how these "progressive evangelicals" want to redefine such long-standing terms as "pro-life" and mitigate the immorality of sexual promiscuity so long as it does not result in an unplanned pregnancy and subsequent abortion. These are the same folks, after all, who have been trying for a number of years to cling to the self-identification of "evangelical" while straying further and further from any semblance of true evangelicalism. It is hardly surprising, then, that they would want to reformulate basic Christian morality in utilitarian platitudes more favorable to their aberrant beliefs.