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HHS Mandate: Trying To Understand The Details

The HHS mandate row is, as it is natural, very complicated; particularly for people, like me, who live the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and can’t spend their lives looking at the details. In particular, it is difficult for a European observer to immediately grasp the two profiles of contraception and abortion.

More in particular, things are complicated in that, as I could understand it, Hobby Lobby opposed a limited number of – medicaments officially considered – contraceptives because they deem them abortifacients. Which means, if I got it right, that at least as far as they are concerned the issue is abortion, not contraception. But the issue is at the same time also religious freedom, and I understand the Supreme Court decision was limited to a limited number of medicaments which, whilst abortifacients, are officially contraceptives. Therefore, whilst Hobby Lobby can be satisfied, we aren’t (yet).

Things are more complicated for Catholic organisations than for Hobby Lobby, as – if they are Catholics in more than name only – they must oppose both contraceptive and abortifacients of all sorts. Again, from what I gather the Supreme Court examined the cases under the aspect of religious freedom, which unavoidably must apply to contraceptives as well as abortifacients. Therefore, it would appear to me, unless I got it wrong, that whilst the issue has not been explicitly decided yet, there is a fairly good chance that the Supreme Court will upheld the right of every Catholic organisation (non-profit one, or for-profit if closely held) to deny every medicament going against Catholic teaching, contraceptives as well as abortifacients.

Some of my US American readers might perhaps provide me with easy and concise explanations, or with links helping with the matter.

I have found this here and this here, and will look at them more in detail as time allows. I am interested in particular in the chances of the contraception battle for nonprofit and closely held for-profit organisations, as it seems to me that concerning certain abortifacients things should be clear enough for both for-profit and non-profit ones.

Again, I am thankful for sober, digestible guidance in the intricacies of the law and the judicial decision.

Mundabor

 

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