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Contraceptive-coverage controversy is about human rights, not politics

Everyone Welcome?

The jar of Eden Organic pasta sauce sits on a shelf at Seward Community Co-op. It is an odd emblem of a skirmish between sexism, sexual fetishes and human rights. But so it is.

Seward Co-op’s slogan is “Everyone Welcome.” That is nice to hear in this diverse near south Minneapolis neighborhood. The co-op dedicates itself to “a healthy community that has: Equitable economic relationships; Positive environmental impacts; and Inclusive, socially responsible practices.” In that order. It sells foods that are made without antibiotics, hormones and poisons. 

People are even more important. The co-op seems to agree. It stocks fair trade coffee and chocolate — I know the debatable honesty of these labels, but the commitment matters. It says workers should be treated fairly. Its own workers get a living wage.

Eden Foods Inc. convinced the Supreme Court that it had a religious objection to including women’s contraceptives in its health insurance. For a long time, some insurers would cover Viagra but not birth control pills. Michael Potter, Eden’s CEO, wore his Catholicism on his sleeve when he went to the Supreme Court.

‘None of my business what women do’

He is actually cruder than that. Why does he object to providing birth control? “Because I’m a man, number one and it’s really none of my business what women do,” he told Salon. “I’ve got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills.” “I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that?”

Tom Vogel, Seward marketing manager, Community Co-op, says the co-op stocks Eden Organic because it is organic and small-farm. As he sees it, Eden’s policy against providing contraception is a debatable “political viewpoint.”

Sorry, Tom, there is nothing debatable here. Reproductive choice is an internationally recognized human right. Organics are nice, but don’t have that standing. Eden Organic’s policy is:

  • medically uninformed. Oral contraceptives are used for treating endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, among other conditions.
  • theologically inconsistent. The company does not attempt to restrict prescriptions of Viagra to unmarried men or gay men.
  • a sexual fetish rather than an expression of a comprehensive religious doctrine. Human resources does not ask employees to convert to Catholicism. There is no Eden Organic policy requiring men and women to conform to Pope Pius XII’s address on end-of-life medical care.
  • apparently ignorant of the nearly universal use of contraception by Catholic and non-Catholic women.
  • economically insensitive. When CEO Potter was told that contraceptives are less expensive than maternity coverage, he replied, “One’s got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud.”
  • sexist about contraception. Male and female partners have an equal interest in a woman’s access to contraceptives, given that pregnancy ideally arises from a mutually consenting joint cooperation. It’s no secret that women bear an undue burden from unintended pregnancies: Three-fourths of the single-parent homes are headed by women.

Dictating employees’ moral choices

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An employer has no more right to dictate the form of an employee’s moral choices than a landlord has a right to tell a Jew that she cannot have a menorah or to refuse to rent to lesbians or ethnic minorities. This controversy is not about politics. It’s about human rights.

A co-op is a community of members who do not embrace Eden Organic’s autocrat’s worldview, understanding of medicine, or crude sexism. The co-op will have to find a supplier of fair trade organic pasta sauce that respects workers’ rights. It should not be hard.

Steven H. Miles, M.D., a professor at the Center for Bioethics, University of Minnesota, is the author of “Oath Betrayed: America’s Torture Doctors.” 


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Comments (67)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/30/2014 - 09:46 am.

    And all this came about

    because the government is trying to force business owners to provide health insurance of the government’s design. Solution? Eliminate the government’s mandate and let the business owners and their prospective employees decide what is appropriate.

    There is no good form of totalitarianism.

    • Submitted by John Ellenbecker on 07/31/2014 - 11:41 am.

      Government has the authority to regulate insurance

      and government SHOULD regulate insurance. Minimum coverage requirements are nothing new. But I can agree that government should end the connection between heath insurance and employment – and the Hobby Lobby controversy is just one example of why that connection should end. The far more logical and cost effective alternative is to simply move us all to a single payer system that bears no relationship to employment.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/30/2014 - 10:43 am.

    You overreach.

    Hobby Lobby was not about an employer dictating the morality of its employees. It was about who pays for those choices. Just as many pacifists, Friends in particular, have objected to payment of taxes which support war, the plaintiffs in HL et al claimed they didn’t want to be compelled to facilitate actions which they find immoral. The difference between the two groups is that Friends have not had the benefit of the laws enacted by Congress and signed into law by Clinton in the ’90s. (Friends likely will have a tough time taking advantage of those laws, but time will tell.)

    Hobby Lobby and the outcry in response to it have a good deal to teach us about hypocrisy. In this case, about the hypocrisy of those who claim that an employer has no right to dictate the morality of employees while attempting to dictate the morality of the employers’ actions.

    The solution to this problem is political: accept that our society’s laws cannot be administered piecemeal in oder to accomodate individuals’ supernatural beliefs and repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/30/2014 - 11:11 pm.


      No Pacifist is required to buy bullets that I know of. Though they are required to pay taxes.

      The difference here is that ACA tried to force Hobby Lobby to buy what they consider to be bullets.

      Just think if Conservatives could stop paying taxes because they believe that welfare is harmful to the recipients. (ie their independence, self image, work ethic, creativity, etc)

  3. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 07/30/2014 - 12:02 pm.

    Interesting, and so deeply disappointing, that the local co-op is trying to side-step the human rights point by saying that it’s just a political matter. Once again (like in the 1970s), issues that men find important are prioritized over those that affect women.

    Thanks, Dr. Miles, for bringing this to our attention here in Minneapolis.

  4. Submitted by Sid Gasner on 07/30/2014 - 04:29 pm.

    I shop the Seward. I buy Eden Organics pretty regularly. I wont purchase them anymore though! Thank you Dr. Miles.

  5. Submitted by Eric Dahlen on 07/30/2014 - 04:42 pm.

    Health Care is not a human right. Neither is insurance or what it covers. I dont understand how Steven H. Miles can claim that in any way including being internationally recognized.

    The very premise that by me choosing not to buy something for you is not me controlling you. You are free to buy whatever you want. You have no right for me to give you anything.

    This kind of progressive thinking is why I would never allow my child to go to this school for anything.

    • Submitted by Pat Thompson on 07/30/2014 - 06:43 pm.


      What school? Do you mean the University of Minnesota, where Dr. Miles is a professor? Where professors have academic freedom so they can say what they want, with no reflection on the University itself?

      I feel sorry for your child, being raised by such a narrow-minded person.

    • Submitted by John Ellenbecker on 07/31/2014 - 11:37 am.

      Kind of Ironic

      Considering that the Catholic Church sees health care as a fundamental right and universal health care coverage as a moral responsibility of government.

  6. Submitted by Steve Miles on 07/30/2014 - 06:00 pm.

    Right to Health

    Eric, You might be interested in World Health Organization: The right to health Fact sheet N°323, 2013 which describes the various international documents affirming a right to health care.
    Best regards, Steve.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/30/2014 - 11:25 pm.


      I always like the Viagra vs Birth Control comparison… It implies they are similar.

      Viagra etc helps a human body to operate correctly.

      Birth control pills, IUD’s, morning after pills, etc manipulate the body to make it operate differently.

      As mentioned above, no one is stopping women from buying birth control. They still have the rights to pills, IUDs, abortion, etc. Some people are just against paying for these procedures that they disagree with.

      Would you support a law that forced you to pay for someones execution out of your wallet?

      Even if they were a convicted murderer?

      • Submitted by JL Lundstrom on 07/31/2014 - 10:13 am.

        John, as noted in the first bullet point of the article: medically uninformed. Oral contraceptives are used for treating endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, among other conditions.

        Doesn’t this fall under your argument of helping a body to operate correctly? Do your research. BC is so, so much more than the name.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/31/2014 - 04:37 pm.


          Hi JL,
          Yes. They can also be used to manage severity of the period, ensure regularity and many other things. Then I assume the doctor would write the prescription for hormonal therapy using a specific medication. (which just happens to also function as bc) I have a wife and 3 daughters… I know more than I ever wanted to about women and their health.

          Just a reminder, Hobby Lobby was not against the normal BC pill.

      • Submitted by John Ellenbecker on 07/31/2014 - 12:01 pm.

        Paying for executions

        Taxpayers DO pay for executions – with no ability to opt out because of religious or moral objections.

        • Submitted by JL Lundstrom on 07/31/2014 - 01:51 pm.

          I’d be more than happy to have the government outlaw the Death Penalty as part of it’s justice system. It is immoral. Are you saying that BC is equal to that? Again, do some research on how BC works and the many ways it helps women’s overall health. If you are still insistent on your views, why not demand our politicians stop insurance companies pay for any part of a vasectomy?

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/31/2014 - 04:45 pm.

            No Fertilized Egg

            A successfully completed vasectomy ensures no ovum will become fertilized. Therefore no fertilized egg can be destroyed.

            • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/01/2014 - 09:49 am.


              A successful vasectomy ensures no sperm enter the seminal stream in the male body. It does not ensure no ovum will become fertilized in the female body.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/01/2014 - 04:16 pm.


                No sperm transferred equals no fertilized egg…

                Or are you a believer in immaculate conception then…

                • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/06/2014 - 08:44 am.

                  You are ignoring transmission… a woman with more than one sexual partner should be able to protect herself, without requiring that her partner have a surgical procedure.

                  I don’t believe in the immaculate conception, nor do I believe in the virgin birth. They are different things.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/31/2014 - 04:42 pm.


          Actually tax payers pay taxes to the government. The government uses the money in many ways.

          ACA tried to require employers to pay for birth control that some people think can occasionally cause a fertilized egg to be miscarried. In their view causing the death of a human.

          Not saying they are right, just summarizing what they believe.

          Now are you ready to be forced to pay the executioner directly?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/31/2014 - 12:41 pm.

        “Manipulating the body to make it operate differently”

        Which, when you get right down to it, is how all medicine works: it is manipulating the body to make it operate differently than it otherwise would have.

        Incidentally, does Viagra have any purpose other than helping men with erectile dysfunction? Birth control pills are routinely prescribed for a variety of conditions, not just for preventing pregnancy. As far as other forms of birth control, I can only ask what the adverse consequences of a man being physically unable to have intercourse would be (other than no bragging rights).

      • Submitted by jason myron on 07/31/2014 - 03:44 pm.

        John, you really seem obsessed

        in bringing up and defending Viagra whenever the subject of contraception comes up here ( no pun intended). It’s okay…we know you’ve been around and know a thing or two and how to make things happen, but all you’re accomplishing here is solidifying the opinion of most of us that you have absolutely no clue of the many reasons women have in choosing their reproductive health care, not to mention your usual attempt at obfuscation by tossing out hypotheticals. So let me play the same game…if Hobby Lobby’s owners were Muslim, instead of Christian, I’d make a very large wager that the vast majority of their defenders would be screaming about Sharia Law, Muslim infiltration of this country and assimilation, or lack thereof. Christians who wail about their religious freedom only care about THEIR religion and THEIR freedom, but they couldn’t give a rip about any other.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/31/2014 - 04:56 pm.

          End of Life

          I assume the religious right is actually concerned about the willful ending of what they consider a human life and soul. If one truly believes that human life begins at conception as many of them do…

          What you see as “the freedom to flush some growing cells” is what they see as ending a human life and all it could have been. I think it is worth looking at and discussing both sides of this issue, since I certainly don’t know with any certainty when a human becomes a human.

          So I think your comparison may be a bit off.

          • Submitted by jason myron on 08/01/2014 - 02:02 pm.

            Nice try…my comparioson isn’t off one bit,

            it just makes you uncomfortable. I couldn’t care less about this fertilized egg nonsense nor the religious rights scientific ignorance. If they want to place a valid objection based on when a fertilized egg becomes a human or if soul exists, then they should prove both of those theories, otherwise, it holds no more validity than believing a giant bunny visits my house every April and leaves plastic eggs filled with candy for my kids. My question still stands… would you still be on Hobby Lobby’s side if the owners were Muslim and they decided to cite objections due to THEIR religious freedom? Maybe firing or disciplining employees because of the clothes, perfume or jewelry they wear? How about fundamentalist groups that object to paying for other medical procedures because they believe in the power or prayer over scientific method? Are all of those good too? What about the owner of Jason Myron industries who cites a religious objection to not wanting to pay for John Appelen’s viagra because my religion says that men over forty should no longer have sex? Does that work for you? A religious objection is a religious objection, right? If religious freedom is grounds to arbitrarily object to covering medical costs for procedures, it opens up the door for a company to object to virtually anything and hide behind some BS “religious belief.” Yes or no?

            • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/01/2014 - 03:06 pm.

              She Turned Me Into a Newt!

              Jason, it’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read your post or I’d be looking for a cleaning rag at the moment. Your post brings to mind the Monty Python scene in “The Holy Grail” where the peasant exclaims “look, watery tarts lobbying scimitars is no basis for a system of government.” (I paraphrase, of course.)

              Joking aside, some religious people think that human life begins at conception. This is totally arbitrary on their part though and is not support by scientific literature. That’s why we have names for the different stages of development, from embryo to zygote, fetus, and so on. A baby isn’t actually a bay until it’s born. An embryo has the *potential* to become a human, but that doesn’t happen till later in the process.

              If we’re tackling humans from the potential point of view, then an unfertilized egg has the same potential as a fertilized egg. Not only eggs, but sperm too.

              Which brings us right back to Monty Python. Oh come on, folks! You can’t tell me you didn’t see this coming from a mile off. Now everyone sing with me!

              Every sperm is sacred;
              Every sperm is great;
              If a sperm is wasted,
              God gets quite irate!

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/01/2014 - 04:23 pm.


                Their song would be

                Every fertilized egg is sacred.
                Every fertilized egg is great
                If a fertilized egg is killed
                God gets quite irate !

                Thank God for America where we get to argue about this sensitive topic

              • Submitted by jason myron on 08/01/2014 - 04:58 pm.

                Thanks, Todd

                Python has always been near and dear to me, and funny you mention them. I’ve been thinking of the dead parrot skit a lot lately as I watch Republicans flail away at trying to deny that they haven’t been itching to impeach Obama for the last five years…”It’s, it isn’t.
                Cognitive dissonance is an amazing thing to behold.
                Remember.”Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.”

                • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/05/2014 - 10:15 am.

                  Help! Help!

                  Funny thing is, it’s the oligarchs and theocrats who are claiming that they’re being repressed!

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/01/2014 - 04:18 pm.


              I would find a job at a company that held views consistent with mine.

              • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/04/2014 - 09:25 am.

                Hmm smells like freedom

                So what happens when no employers in your area of expertise share your views? You surely aren’t suggesting one should sacrifice their personal freedom of thought for a paycheck? More likely that its simply the old tripe that employees should be seen but not heard, right?

                • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/04/2014 - 12:58 pm.

                  “You surely aren’t suggesting one should sacrifice their personal freedom of thought for a paycheck?”

                  No more so than outraged leftists are suggesting employers must sacrifice theirs to offer a paycheck.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/04/2014 - 03:36 pm.


                    It is interesting how they care about the employee’s values, and are indifferent or even beligerent regarding the owners. Apparently some form of a double standard.

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/04/2014 - 07:55 pm.

                      Its funny

                      I don’t recall any employers being forced out of business (the equivalency you’re grasping away for) for failing to respect their employees rights. At most is a fine. Your darn right I care about employees rights, employers certainly couldn’t care less, so someone has to.

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/05/2014 - 12:09 am.

                      There’s no double standard

                      All you’re advocating is indentured servitude, in that an employers religious beliefs supersede that of the employee simply because they’re providing a paycheck and benefits package. The only values that are relevant between employer and employee are the ethical standards indigenous to the position. Religious beliefs have no place in any secular working environment. The fact that you completely dodged my question regarding a Muslim company engaged in the same types of objection tells us all that you have no interest in objectivity. It’s against the law for a potential employer to ask about religious affiliation, why should any employee have to be concerned about being held to any religious standard of an employer?

                    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/05/2014 - 09:13 am.

                      ” Religious beliefs have no place in any secular working environment.”

                      Thankfully, the SCOTUS disagrees.

                      All this whining is infantile. People of conscience have always measured a potential employer and work environment against their standards. For instance, although I would never be expected or required to join a union, I will not only never accept a position in a unionized environment, I quit a job I’d held for 5 years when we merged with a larger company whose production staff worked as a bargaining unit. No hard feelings, no big deal, just not for me.

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/05/2014 - 09:26 am.

                      Couldn’t care less about the ruling

                      of five ancient male Catholics. It certainly wasn’t the first thing they’ve managed to completely mangle.

                    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/05/2014 - 11:53 am.

                      “Couldn’t care less about the ruling…”

                      Yeah, that’s getting to be a pattern among leftists. I’m guessing it’s not going to end well for you all.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/04/2014 - 12:59 pm.


                  No employers that share your views. Really?

                  Maybe it is time to move to a more fitting city…

                  • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/04/2014 - 07:59 pm.

                    Its ok

                    As the real objective is simply a separate economy for the evangelical set, I don’t think it will be a problem for me to avoid. Though it does strike me as sort of silly. Doesn’t say much for the fortitude of those who after losing the culture wars, simply decide to divorce themselves from mainstream culture.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/05/2014 - 06:17 pm.

                      Amish, Hutterites, Quakers, etc

                      One of the advatages of this country is that we respect the views and choices of different groups of people.

                    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/05/2014 - 07:20 pm.

                      Interesting. They will take to the courts to force others to accept their vision of what the pursuit of happiness includes, but deride others who simply, humbly and quietly live their lives in peace among themselves.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/06/2014 - 08:40 am.

                      Who is deriding the Amish?

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/06/2014 - 09:27 pm.


                      “As the real objective is simply a separate economy for the evangelical set, I don’t think it will be a problem for me to avoid. Though it does strike me as sort of silly. Doesn’t say much for the fortitude of those who after losing the culture wars, simply decide to divorce themselves from mainstream culture.”

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/07/2014 - 11:04 am.

                      I’m sure

                      The groups you mention would find your inclusion of them among christian right amusing, less so the tacit inclusion with the Westboro Baptist churches of the world.

                    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/06/2014 - 08:53 am.

                      …unless they’re gay and want to get married, or a woman who wants to be sexually active outside of marriage, or they support minimum wage laws, or want a rewriting of gun laws, or don’t support religious-based laws, etc etc etc. Those people have often not been afforded the respect you speak about.

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/06/2014 - 08:02 pm.

                      One could only hope

                      If the evangelical community would actually be more like the groups you’ve mentioned I ould be ecstatic. They have managed to figure out that religious freedom is just that, as opposed to attempting to encode their edicts on all members of society through legislative force. By all means, pull back from mainstream life, go off to your compounds and live whatever life you believe your god intends, just remember to pay your frieght, follow our laws, and leave the rest of us alone. The groups you mention manage that quite nicely, I suspect the evangelicals might be a bit more troublesome.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/06/2014 - 09:21 pm.


                      “attempting to encode their edicts on all members of society through legislative force”

                      Isn’t that what Liberals are trying to do by trying to make conservative companies pay for certain birth control methods?

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/07/2014 - 09:13 am.

                      Last I checked

                      Our side is not arguing on behalf of a belief in a non verifiable entity.

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 08/07/2014 - 09:27 am.

                      But thanks

                      For illustrating so well my final aside. Until fundamentalists recognize that their religious freedom extends only to the point where others freedom FROM religion begins,and that by attempting to exist both as religious zealots in their own community and financial entrepreneurs in the secular community, they will inevitably find themselves at odds with those who want none of what they’re selling.

  7. Submitted by Brenda P on 07/30/2014 - 10:47 pm.

    Vote with your purchases

    The cooperative community across the U.S. has been having this discussion since the Hobby Lobby story broke. It has been a tough discussion with no simple answer. I believe many co-op stores would love for their member-owners and shoppers to simply stop buying Eden Organic products. When owners and shoppers make their intentions clear in this manner, the cooperative would be happy to remove the product in question from their shelves.

    The cooperative exists to meet its member-owners’ needs. When members and shoppers let the co-op know they don’t need or want a product the cooperative naturally stops stocking the shelves with that product (or products).

    I am one of those co-op members who used to buy Eden products and now I don’t. That’s how I’ve made my opinion/vote known. But the cooperative needs to listen to everyone’s vote, and only time will tell if Eden is no longer a desirable company for co-op shoppers.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/31/2014 - 08:48 am.

      That’s so free-market of you

      and if a sufficient number of people continue to purchase Eden Organic products such that the co-op continues to benefit from its sales, you’d by fine with that result also.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/31/2014 - 10:17 am.

        That’s so “not understanding co-ops” of you

        A co-op is not supposed to “benefit from its sales,” as you put it. A co-op is supposed to provide services to its members at the lowest cost possible. A co-op, unlike a business corporation, does not exist to make a profit (although many do).

        The wishes of the membership should be superior to considerations of what is generating a profit.

        • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/31/2014 - 02:10 pm.

          Oh, I’m sorry

          I have to admit that I’ve never been a customer at the collectivist markets. My hippy neighbors are though so I suppose they could explain to me why consumer choice takes a back seat to politics.

          • Submitted by jason myron on 07/31/2014 - 02:52 pm.

            Hippy neighbors?

            If that’s your description of them, I can only imagine what they think of you. It’s 2014, Dennis…you really need to update your cultural references. There hasn’t been a hippy sighting since 1977 on the West Bank. By the way, you didn’t need to add that you’ve never set foot in a co-op. Given your intense fear of anything post-Reagan, we all knew that was pretty much a given.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/31/2014 - 03:01 pm.

            Far out

            Do that. They might then want to hear from you as to why it isn’t consumer choice if it is based on politics.

            If you know any farmers, you might ask them why they have chosen the collectivist alternative for milling and storage, or marketing produce (I’m sure a freedom lover like yourself shuns anything sold by Land o’ Lakes).

  8. Submitted by Steve Miles on 07/31/2014 - 09:06 am.

    John, Viagra is used to help men have intercourse. The comparison is valid to the extent that Eden Organics objects to contraceptives because they enable immoral behavior. There is no supervision of the reasons men are using Viagra. Eden pays for single men and gays getting Viagra without evaluating their morality. Further, some of the methods that Eden blocks, Plan B for example, are not abortifacients: it blocks fertilization or implantation depending on the cycle.
    Executions? The government requires me to pay for many things that I do not support. As you may recall selective tax protests during the Vietnam War were a failed strategy. Eden’s rationale as described is not religious, it is Libertarian.
    The problem is that the contraceptive issue is complicated by the fact that men do not get pregnant Most of the men are presumptively sexually active, earn more, and have health care needs related to their sexual activity. Sexual activity generates costs to both genders but those costs mostly accrue to women.
    Until recently, men expect women to pay for the disproportionate sexual allocation of the costs of sexual activity. Until recently for example, women’s insurance was about 60% more expensive than men’s because women got pregnant and men did not. Women get pap smears although men are as likely to be the vector for HPV and women are much more likely to bear the illness and cost of HPV cancers than men. Should those costs be allocated to women too because you feel separated from the responsibility from them? As to contraception, men are much more likely to walk away from the costs of an unintended pregnancy and raising a child. Should society simply say that is their choice? Whose choice?
    Finally, Eden is facing market forces on this. They have made a choice which the Court has oddly enough affirmed. They are marketing to a community that differs with them. Would you argue that we should be required to purchase Eden Organic foods to support a corporate policy that is inherently sexist or obnoxious? If so, what would be the basis for that argument?
    Best to you, Steve

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/31/2014 - 05:10 pm.

      Talk with Your Money

      I agree whole heartedly that people should not be forced to pay for things that they believe are harmful. I think that is my point. So yes, please feel free to boycott Eden.

      There is still on going debate if the Morning After Pill (part B) and IUDs can cause a fertilized egg to be flushed in some instances. That is why these folks are fighting to not pay for them.

      Back to Viagra, there is no way that it can flush a fertilized egg and it helps couples to live happy lives. Thus no one is fighting it.

      As far as I know, very few institutions and even fewer couples are against condoms, normal B/C pills, diaphrams, etc.

      Oh yeah, executions and war… We pay taxes and government spends government money… In this case people are being asked to pay directly for something they consider to be equivalent to an execution. I guess that was my point.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/01/2014 - 12:55 pm.

        Pay directly

        First of all, as you have been told many times, the contraceptives to which Hobby Lobby has decided it objects do not “flush fertilized eggs.” They may believe that (or, more accurately, they may SAY they believe that), but it doesn’t make it true. Wishing is not evidence. After all, a lot of people believe that tax cuts are good for the economy, but we all know that’s not true.

        Second, Hobby Lobby was being asked to provide insurance as a part of the compensation for its employees. This is one step removed from paying for anything “directly.” In fact, it is a more indirect form of payment than paying taxes to cover moral outrages like unnecessary war, the execution of prisoners, or Dick Cheney’s pension.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/01/2014 - 04:11 pm.

          Disagree and Possibility

          I Disagree and

          Read this…

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/04/2014 - 02:16 pm.

            I read it; did you?

            “Existing pregnancy is not a contraindication in terms of safety, as there is no known harm to the woman, the course of her pregnancy, or the fetus if progestin-only or combined emergency contraception pills are accidentally used, but [emergency contraception] is not indicated for a woman with a known or suspected pregnancy because it is not effective in women who are already pregnant.”

            If there is no known harm to a fetus, and if emergency contraception is ineffective against an existing pregnancy, if one uses the medical definition of abortifacient, that sounds like an abortion isn’t caused.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/04/2014 - 05:51 pm.


              “The very high effectiveness of copper-releasing IUDs as emergency contraceptives means they must also prevent some pregnancies by post-fertilization effects such as prevention of implantation.”

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/05/2014 - 01:01 pm.

                You left out the first sentence of that paragraph

                “The primary mechanism of action of copper-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs) as emergency contraceptives is to prevent fertilization because of copper toxicity to sperm and ova.”

                I took your quote as meaning that the science is not entirely settled on copper IUDs (an effective, but uncommon, form of emergency contraception) as preventing implantation. Medically, there is no pregnancy until there is implantation.

                • Submitted by John Appelen on 08/05/2014 - 06:14 pm.


                  “Medically, there is no pregnancy until there is implantation.”

                  Do you think the fertilzed egg or the religious right appreciate this nuance.

                  • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/06/2014 - 10:42 am.


                    Since a fertilized, but not implanted, egg has no discernible brain function, I doubt it (fertilization is no guarantee that an embryo will develop).

                    The religious right (if there is such a monolithic entity) believe whatever is convenient to their purposes. The Southern Baptist Convention did not formally oppose legal abortion until 1982 (apparently revoking earlier positions against outlawing abortion).

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 08/01/2014 - 03:42 pm.

    “First of all, as you have been told many times…”

    Leftist rhetoric 101: State your talking point and shout down and further comment.

    Honestly, you folks make parodies if yourselves.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 08/01/2014 - 10:02 pm.


      restating facts equals shutting down discussion. Let’s go with that. The real parody is willful ignorance masquerading as an ethos….and you folks are absolute masters at it.

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