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LostInParadise's avatar

What do you think of this interpretation of the case before SCOTUS regarding a corporations's right to refuse to offer contraceptives on religious grounds?

Asked by LostInParadise (23953points) March 24th, 2014

This way of looking at it caught me off guard. Previously, my main argument in favor of the contraceptives provision was that corporations have no right to impose their religious views on their employees. I had to read the article 2 or 3 times before I got the point, but it is actually fairly simple. If individual stockholders are entitled to certain privileges then they should be subject to personal responsibility for corporate actions, which the Court has previously opposed. Can’t have it both ways. You can’t look behind the corporate curtain to give privileges without peeking behind the curtain to assign responsibilities.

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20 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Whoa, that is a new can of worms. If their arguments apply, then every shareholder assumes the risks of the corporation. Hard to believe the right wingers are that stupid.

ragingloli's avatar

As by the article, the “court” also ruled earlier that a shareholder can not imbue his corporation with his racial identity, so ruling in favour of this religious argument would directly contradict their earlier verdict.
I do expect them to fully ignore this though.

Hard to believe the right wingers are that stupid.

zenvelo's avatar

As much as I agree that a can of worms would be opened by finding in favor of Hobby Lobby, I anticipate that bad law will arise from a finely parsed finding that allows shareholders to impose opinions on the corporation without having to take on liability.

I don’t trust the Roberts/Scalia/Thomas court.

herculies's avatar

Corporations have evolved to shield shareholders because many or most of traded stocks are owned by funds such as retirement, mutual etc.

So… what if some shareholders don’t believe in war, should the corporation stop paying taxes because the money is used for the military?

I think obama and obamacare is doing the intended job of ripping this country apart along racial, religious and economic lines and has nothing to do with health.

Jaxk's avatar

It sounds like a good argument but I’m not sure it’s quite as solid as the author would have you believe. Can a corporation be religious or have religious rights? The courts have granted free speech rights without piercing the corporate veil. Corporations create their own image, culture and values. Whether they can be religious may be controversial but not unusual.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Funnily enough Hobby Lobby never had any problems with their employee’s insurance covering contraceptives before. This isn’t about religious freedoms at all. It’s yet another Republican-fueled effort to undermine the President’s signature legislation (a legislation which, I’ll add, was one they supported for two decades until the other team passed it). Goddamned hypocrites, all of them.

jerv's avatar

I find it funny that the party calling for personal responsibility and accountability seeks to avoid both. Funny in a, I want to cry because I can’t believe people are so fucking stupid” sort of way.

But this really isn’t about contraceptives; it’s about whether corporations are omnipotent or whether government has even the least bit of power. It’s a proxy battle.

Regardless of which way the court goes, it’s going to be a game-changer.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Key words ‘after conception’. Should be interesting. This will definately be a battle.

“The largest company among them, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., and the Green family that owns it, say their “religious beliefs prohibit them from providing health coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices that end human life after conception.”

Seek's avatar

You can read that sentence two ways.

(contraceptive drugs) + (devices that end human life after conception)


(contraceptive drugs and devices) that end human life after conception

That’s some pretty poor wording.
How long after conception? Define “conception”. Is “conception” a fertilized egg, or is it uterine implantation?
Is it only opposing the morning after pill, or are all contraceptives out? Are they opposing coverage for medically necessary D&C operations?

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Valid point since some birth control acts by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting itself into the uterine wall, but I think even a fertilized egg counts as “human life” in their minds, ruling out most contraception aside from abstinence.

Seek's avatar


Are they proposing to cover tubal ligation and vasectomy, as these prevent an ovum from ever coming in contact with a spermatozoon in the first place?

rojo's avatar

What about Viagra, will they still cover that?

jerv's avatar

@rojo Probably.

zenvelo's avatar

If the SCOTUS finds for Hobby Lobby, the downstream effect will be bizarre. Scientologists (a recognized tax exempt religion) do not believe in psychiatry or mental health medication. Does that mean if you work for a Scientologist you can’t get anti-depressants?

Christian Scientists do not believe in the use of drugs, so if you work for a Christian Scientist, you don’t get coverage for prescriptions?

rojo's avatar

So, the SC finds against the corpies.
The corporations decide not to provide any insurance.
Other companies follow suit.
Government decides that, since business cannot be depended upon to provide insurance, it (the government) will do so.
Snowball effect, more business get out of providing insurance.
Individuals sign up for government provided insurance.
Eventually most people have insurance through a government program
Government gains a monopoly on providing insurance and as the biggest health provider service, dictates prices.
Single payer system implemented by default.

zenvelo's avatar

@rojo That would be an ideal solution.

But it is not “for” or “against” corporations, it is whether major shareholders can dictate corporate policy based on individual religious conscience even if policy is contrary to the public interest.

LostInParadise's avatar

@KNOWITALL , Hobby Lobby is wrong in equating contraception with abortion.

@rojo, Corporations that refuse to offer insurance will have to pay a large fine, which will help bring down the costs for people buying insurance on their own.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LostInParadise Per your link—-
The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, citing NEW research, declared last March that Plan B does not inhibit implantation but instead blocks fertilization.

The whole point is not to block the use of contraceptives, from what I have read, it’s to not participate or support or pay for, abortion for themselves or their employees.

cazzie's avatar

Wrong and it is none of their Damn business. Abortion is legal. Discrimination based on gender and sexual preference and activity is not.

LostInParadise's avatar

@KNOWITALL , Paying for abortion is not an issue in this case, because the government does not require insurance companies to provide abortion.

Here is another interesting aspect. Hobby Lobby says it would be okay if the government paid for insurance that included contraception. That raises an interesting question. Does it cost more for an insurance company to provide contraception? Consider the alternative. The insurance company would need to cover the costs related to pregnancy and the health costs of an unwanted child. Maybe what the government is doing is forcing companies to save money by providing contraception for their employees.

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