Jul
01
2014

Why Barack Obama won’t just unilaterally fund access to abortifacients.

In the course of a not-entirely-unfair piece by Time magazine that makes it clear that the Obama administration has decided to play partisan politics with the Hobby Lobby decision*, the magazine article noted something interesting.  At issue is the centerpiece of the ruling – that companies are not actually required to violate their owners’ religious principles by paying for abortifacients – and the funny thing here is that the government never really had to seek a ruling in the first place:

Legal observers say it would not be difficult for the Obama Administration to resolve the situation unilaterally. The Department of Health and Human Services has already taken unilateral executive action to ensure that women employed by religious nonprofits get contraception coverage in cases where the employer declines to pay. “There was nothing in the statute that specifically allowed them to create the exemption for non-profit organizations so I don’t see why they couldn’t extend that to for-profit corporations,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University and an expert on the Affordable Care Act’s regulations. “I don’t know why they couldn’t do it themselves.”

Two answers to that: first, then the Democrats couldn’t fundraise on the issue. Second, if the administration decided to fund procedures that an extremely large swath of the population considers to be abortifacients then they’d be in for several more exquisitely painful months in the public disapproval barrel.  Better by far to send it to Congress, let it die there, then blame it all on the Republicans.  And, of course, fundraise on the issue.

Would it work? Depends on what you mean by ‘work.’ It won’t move the needle in the upcoming Congressional elections. It might have, in 2009, but as the Time magazine article itself implicitly notes the administration doesn’t have guaranteed friendly media coverage anymore, and it kind of shows.  But it might shore up wavering liberals and progressives, a little.  Nothing like a good Two-Minute Hate to keep turnout up, you know what I mean? – And, sure, that assumes that the Democratic base is dumb enough to buy that there’s a great national outcry for state-mandated coverage of IUDs and morning-after pills.  Safe assumption, though: after all, the same base bought that the Hobby Lobby case was about Christianists** refusing working women access to the Pill.

(It’s going around the Internet, but H/T Hot Air Headlines, pretty much)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Which is remarkable, in its way.

**Excuse me: ‘Xianists.’  Because there are certain religious groups which are considered acceptable to slur in public, apparently.

8 Comments

  • Jeffstag says:

    Meh, we can take the public slurs. We’ve got big shoulders like that.

    Any of us who don’t have the big shoulders don’t have to look far to be bolstered (Hey, there’s a few to choose from here, but lets go with, say, Matthew 5:11-12) “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    I find it’s a must better attitude than to just go berserk in the face of percieved slurs.

    p.s. ‘berserk’ is an underutilized word.

  • Jeffstag says:

    Also, I find it handy when someone uses the term ‘xian’. Its a great identifier and immediantly lets me know where they stand on a whole range of issues with surprising accuracy.

  • Luke says:

    Never heard that term before. I’ll be happy if I never to hear it again.

    • 1_rick says:

      As Jeffstag said, it’s a pretty good identifier: it usually means the person using the term is an anti-theist (not just an atheist. They don’t believe in God and they’re going to tell you ALL about it.)

  • Freddie Sykes says:

    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by a Democrat controlled House and a Democrat controlled Senate and signed by a Democrat president. And now the Democrats have their knickers in a twist over SCOTUS upholding this Law of the Land… Come to thing of it, having one’s knickers in a twist might be an effective form of birth control.

    • garfieldjl says:

      The Democrats are acting as though it is okay for them to pick and choose which laws are enforced, and that’s a dangerous situation.

      • Luke says:

        You’re forgetting the unofficial Democratic Party motto: “It’s different when we do it.”

    • 1_rick says:

      Specifically, Hillary’s husband signed it, and Chucky Schumer is the one who raised it in Congress.

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