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Another View -- Betsy McCaughey: Scaremongering is the left's hobby

July 17. 2014 10:36PM

“REALLY, WE SHOULD be afraid of this court,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 30th Hobby Lobby ruling.

Afraid of Hobby Lobby? Nonsense. Democratic politicians are lying about the court’s ruling, scaremongering and trying to whip up a war over reproductive rights before the fall election. Here are the lies they’re telling and the truth you need to know.

Referring to the justices’ 5-4 ruling, Pelosi expressed outrage that “five guys” will “start determining what contraceptions are legal.”

In truth, the court did nothing like that. Every birth control method that was legal before the ruling is still legal.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced that : “after five justices decided that an employer’s personal views can interfere with a woman’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong.”

Another whopper. Nothing in Hobby Lobby gives employers control over a woman’s birth control choices. The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby and a related chain of Christian bookstores, objected to paying for four types of birth control that their religious teachings consider abortifacients. Their health plan covers 16 of the 20 types mandated by the Obama administration’s insurance regulations. The court ruled that Hobby Lobby is protected by the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993 and doesn’t have to pay for the other four products. But women can still choose to use them.

The hyperbole prize goes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called the ruling “deeply disturbing” and then launched into a discussion of oppression of women around the world.

Not to worry. Hobby Lobby will not lead to Shariah law.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Hobby Lobby “outrageous” and pledged quick action on a bill proposed by Murray and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall that would require for-profit business owners to pay for all forms of birth control, even if it violates their religious conscience. The bill is misleadingly called the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act.

Reid didn’t hide the blatantly political motive behind it. “People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they are going to be treated unfavorably come November with the elections.”

Reid is suggesting the female electorate will swap religious liberty for free pills in November. Really? Morning after pills cost $35-$50. Religious liberty is worth more than that.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she was “stunned that we live in a world where the Supreme Court of the United States of America would even consider putting the interests of big corporations before the fundamental rights of American women.”

Wrong, Sen. Warren. She’s a former law professor. But she got this one backwards. Religious liberty is a fundamental right, guaranteed by the Constitution. (Free pills are not.) Thomas Jefferson explained that “No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man (or woman) than that which protects the right to conscience.”

American law exempts Amish from compulsory 12 years of education, spares Christian Scientists from mandatory vaccinations and protects Muslims from being forced to shave their beards. That is also what the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993 is intended to do — protect religious individuals from the force of the state.

How about Warren’s claim that Hobby Lobby benefits big corporations? Also untrue.

It applies only to closely- held companies where owners would share a religious conviction.

The “big corporations” rhetoric is a diversion. In 2008, Sens. Murray and Hillary Clinton offered legislation to reduce conscience protections for doctors, pharmacists and other health care workers who refuse to prescribe morning after pills and other birth control products based on religious beliefs. U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, an ob/gyn, warned that doctors would resist. The legislation stalled, but on Jan. 2, the Obama administration accomplished the same thing by regulation.

The Democratic Party appears to be rejecting our American heritage of tolerance and insisting everyone show lockstep obedience to a radical feminist agenda. Do they really believe free pills trump liberty? Or are they cynically hoping some women voters will fall for that hogwash in November?

Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York, is a syndicated columnist.

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