Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Misinformation, The Pro-Choice, and Hobby Lobby

In the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision, we've seen a lot of rending of garments by the political Left. Much of this weeping and lamentation (and in some cases downright tantrum throwing) is based on a profound ignorance about what is actually going on.

The Wardrobe Door sums up the situation in "7 Myths (or Outright Lies) About Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court Ruling." In a nutshell, the outraged are either lying or grotesquely mistaken in these beliefs:
1. The Supreme Court allowed Hobby Lobby to ban all birth control. Actually, before the ruling Hobby Lobby was already covering 16 different birth control methods and will continue to provide coverage for those 16. Hobby Lobby will not (and cannot) prevent any employee from purchasing the other four types themselves.
2. All business owners can now stop covering these forms of birth control. Actually, the decision limited this to closely held companies, basically small businesses or family-owned companies. Although Hobby Lobby is a large, national chain store, they are owned and operated by a single family.

3. Religious owners can now refuse any type of medical treatment based on their beliefs. Actually, the ruling only addresses the four abortifacient birth control methods that Hobby Lobby took umbrage with.

4. The government (or our boss) is now in our bedroom. Actually, as writer Sean Davis put it: "The question is not about whether Hobby Lobby is in your bedroom, making birth control choices for you. The question is about whether the federal government has the right to force Hobby Lobby into your bedroom to pay for every form of birth control you may choose."

5. Hobby Lobby is hypocritical because they do business in China. That's a completely separate issue. I'll also point out that Hobby Lobby is doing business with Chinese businesses, whereas it's the Chinese government that forces abortions.

6. This is just another battle in the War on Women. As previously pointed out, as we already discussed Hobby Lobby covers 16 of the 20 contraceptives for women. They also don't cover vasectomies or condoms. Does this constitute a "War on Men?"

7. The ruling jeopardizes the health of women. Even the White House is pushing this lie. It's an incredible leap from "Pay for your own Plan B" to jeopardizing somebody's health. Plus, Hobby Lobby pays so much above minimum wage that any woman who wants Plan B need only work a single day to earn enough above and beyond minimum wage to pay for a dose of Plan B. She need only work a little under four weeks to pay for the most expensive IUD. But more relevant -- she makes enough more to afford better food, a gym membership, etc. to improve her health. And -- this is an important point to remember -- her ordinary health care is still covered.
So here we are, with the most misinformed people, and those most militant in their misinformation, standing firmly for something they don't even fully understand.  And this is hardly new on the political Left.

In 1990, three massive surveys were commissioned by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Family Research Council, and Americans United for Life and conducted by the Gallup Organization. Those surveys were not designed to produce propaganda for release to the general public. They were intended for in-house use to fully understand the target audience of the pro-life message. James Davison Hunter summarized those findings in "What Americans Really Think About Abortion," published in First Things in 1992.

Hunter made note of something very telling:

Curiously the people most confident in their misinformation about abortion law generally, and Roe v. Wade in particular, were the ones most hostile to the pro-life cause. Those who view themselves as moderately or strongly pro-choice (who are also disproportionately college-educated), for example, are nearly two times more likely than the national average to say that Roe permits abortion only in the first three months.
 So what we're seeing -- the people most confident in their misinformation about the Hobby Lobby case in particular, and all the issues surrounding abortifacients in general, are the ones most hostile to the cause of religious liberty.

This militant misinformation works well for the abortion lobby, the birth control lobby, and the political Left, so we can't expect them to ever stop doing it. What we can do, however, is become as educated ourselves about life-issue news as quickly and thoroughly as possible so we can head the lies off at the pass and prevent the Left from whipping people into a frenzy over things they are clueless about.

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