It still is stunning to watch someone prominent and powerful flat-out lie on TV. Like an Olympic gymnast’s perfect dismount from the parallel bars, it leaves you breathless.
Responding to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision on Monday, Hillary Clinton told the Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson: “It’s very troubling that a sales clerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health-care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.”
It is holistically false for Clinton to claim that Hobby Lobby “doesn’t think she [the sales clerk] should be using contraception.”
As I documented Monday, Hobby Lobby’s health plan includes 16 different categories of birth control. They are available on a non-co-pay basis, so employees get them at no out-of-pocket cost. The Food and Drug Administration’s official list of approved contraceptives includes small drawings for each of 20 types of birth control. I assembled these sketches into two graphic illustrations. The first shows the contraceptive cornucopia available to Hobby Lobby’s workers, courtesy of the alleged barbarians who own that company.
These products are, from left to right and top to bottom:
1. Male condoms
2. Female condoms
3. Diaphragms with spermicide
4. Sponges with spermicide
5. Cervical caps with spermicide
6. Spermicide alone
7. Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill”)
8. Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“the Mini Pill”)
9. Birth-control pills (extended/continuous use)
10. Contraceptive patches
11. Contraceptive rings
12. Progestin injections
13. Implantable rods
15. Female sterilization surgeries
16. Female sterilization implants
Hobby Lobby does not cover four drugs and devices that it considers abortifacients. If staffers want those items, they are free to purchase them with their own money. In the second graphic, these are, left to right:
1. Plan B (“the Morning After Pill”)
2. Ella (a similar type of “emergency contraception”)
3. Copper intra-uterine device
4. IUD with progestin
Utterly impervious to these facts, Clinton described the Hobby Lobby decision as if five imams had imposed a fatwa under sharia law. “It is a disturbing trend that you see in a lot of societies that are very unstable, anti-democratic, and frankly prone to extremism.”
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Josh Earnest launched his own mortar attack on the truth. As he told journalists Monday, “There are now a group of women of an indeterminate size who no longer have access to free contraceptive coverage simply because of some religious views that are held, not by them necessarily, but by their bosses.”
Women’s access to 16 kinds of free contraceptives continues at Hobby Lobby, just as before.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court sets a dangerous precedent and takes us closer to a time in history when women had no choice and no voice,” U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.) trembled. “When 99 percent of women report having used birth control at one point in their life [sic], allowing their boss [sic] to call the shots about their access to this critical health service should be inconceivable in this day and age.”
Again, all women with Obamacare-compliant health insurance maintain the same access to 16 forms of birth control as before — for free. Most still can get the other four for free. At Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies with devout owners, employees can walk into any drug store and enjoy access to those four medications, although they will have to pay for them.
Leftists seem incapable of fathoming this notion: “Access” is not the same as “freebie.” Just because one does not get something for free does not mean that she is forbidden from acquiring it on her own. Indeed, the idea that women must be handed everything for nothing, lest they suffer helplessly, is a condescending little slice of sexism.
“Every American could potentially be affected by this far-reaching and shocking decision that allows bosses to reach beyond the boardroom and into their employees’ bedrooms,” stated Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “We will work tirelessly with our allies and member activists to make sure that the people who would stand between a woman and her doctor are held accountable.”
Bosses are not barging into bedrooms any more than is Godzilla. Hobby Lobby’s employees remain free to savor as much sex as they can handle — and in their bedrooms, all the better. They can do so while employing 16 unique methods to prevent such sex from causing pregnancy. And they still can get those items for free. And if they want to employ any of the other four FDA-approved techniques, they are welcome to open their wallets and pay for them. And their bosses need not know about any of this. And their bosses will not be in their bedrooms — unless they are invited in. And if so, and everyone’s cool with that, hallelujah!
Furthermore, no one is standing between a woman and her doctor. Hobby Lobby’s female employees can consult their physicians and receive prescriptions for whatever drugs they agree make sense. All that changes is that Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan will not pay for Plan B, Ella, copper IUDs, or IUDs with progestin. If employees want those things, they are free to visit Duane Reade and whip out their credit cards.
The Right needs to understand and explain these simple facts at least as repetitiously, relentlessly, and tirelessly as I have here. No doubt, the Left will keep shouting unfiltered lies — loudly and shamelessly — to frighten women for maximum partisan advantage.
Disseminating the simple black-and-white images above may help steer the Hobby Lobby debate back to something resembling the truth. The volcano of lies that erupted on Monday cannot go dormant soon enough.
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.