Recently, Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a statement on the ruling in the Hobby Lobby case handed down by the supreme court. Pelosi said that “we should be afraid of this court” before proceeding with a narrative that has been often repeated in the media, particularly the left leaning parts of the media. Pelosi made several claims. Firstly, the California Democrat claimed that “five guys” were “determining if forms of contraception were legal or not”. The five guys she is referring to are the five justices (all male) who voted in the majority in the decision: Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, and Sam Alito. This claim is completely untrue. Prior to the ruling, there were twenty forms of birth control approved by regulators. All twenty remain legal today, and companies are still required (and willing) to pay for sixteen of those, a sizable majority. These sixteen were not even a part of the Hobby Lobby case, and Hobby Lobby continues to provide these for its employees without objection. The Green family (who owns the craft store company) objected only to four methods that terminated a fertilized egg. Their view was that this was akin to abortion, something that, we are told time and time again, most doctors disagree with. This is undoubtedly true. However, we should be weary of “scientific consensus” on the subject of birth control and abortion, because there is also a scientific consensus that a fetus can feel pain by the third trimester of pregnancy, and many experts say fetal pain can occur as early as twenty four weeks. This conclusion, if transferred into politics, would logically lead one to believe that if Democrats completely trusted medical science they would whole heartedly support banning late term abortions as well as legislation such as the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. However, Pelosi claimed that “as a practicing and respectful Catholic, this [late term abortion] is sacred ground to me.” I do not claim that Ms. Pelosi is somehow incorrect in her beliefs (that are clearly based in faith) that conflict with medical science. However, this makes it rather hypocritical of her to criticize others for their faith-based views that also conflict with medical science.
Pelosi also repeated the claim that such matters as birth control were “not her boss’s business”. They are not. Which is why if a woman’s boss has a valid religious objection to some forms of birth control, he or she can simply choose not to pay for it and stay out of the matter entirely. The employee is still allowed to buy contraception herself or purchase additional insurance coverage that does cover contraception. If the supreme court ruled that a woman could be fired for using contraception that would be a horrendous violation of civil liberties. But the supreme court did not do that. Perhaps the only decent point made by Nancy Pelosi is that all three female justices were against the ruling. That is a valid observation, and there is indeed something very unsettling about men making decisions on women’s birth control. That being said, it is not surprising that all three voted against it, as all of the females currently on the supreme court were appointed by Democrats. If Sandra Day O’Connor was still on the court, or if Harriet Miers had been confirmed as a justice, Pelosi may very well have been robbed of her talking point.
Nancy Pelosi is trying to stoke up fear and resentment within her base and is hoping to scare female voters into overlooking issues that render the Democrats in a difficult position in November. If she thinks this will work, she is underestimating the intelligence of American women.