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December 27th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.

The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

After failing to receive temporary relief from the fines from the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby announced late Thursday through its attorneys that it "will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs."

In September, Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.

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"All they're asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don't have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions," Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

The lawsuit says the companies' religious beliefs prohibit them from providing insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. As of August 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer-provided health care plans to provide "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the regulation and a narrow exemption was added for nonprofit religious employers whose employees "primarily share its religious tenets" and who "primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets."

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent religious groups from having to finance such coverage. Critics have argued that exemption for nonprofits is far too narrow and a host of nonprofit religious groups have sued the administration over the regulations.

The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that "fails to comply" with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an "excise tax" of "$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement." It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales. The company's attorneys say January begins a new health care plan year for Hobby Lobby and that excise tax from the IRS would amount to $1.3 million a day.

Hobby Lobby is owned by CEO and founder David Green and members of his family. "The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles," a statement on the Hobby Lobby website reads, adding that one outgrowth of that is the store is closed on Sundays to give its employees a day of rest. Each year the company also takes out full-page ads in numerous newspapers proclaiming its faith at Christmastime and on Independence Day.

The store is not formally connected to any denomination, but the Green family supports numerous Christian ministries and is behind the Green Collection, one of the largest private collections of biblical antiquities in the world. The family plans to permanently house the collection in Washington at a museum set to open in 2016.

On Friday, attorneys for Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and provide temporary relief from the the fines until the case was decided by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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Wednesday evening, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit Court, said the company failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that it could continue to pursue its challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, after a final judgment.

"Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the 10th Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time," Duncan said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move.

White House officials have long said they believe they have struck an appropriate compromise between religious exemptions and women's health. The White House has not commented specifically on the Hobby Lobby case.

"It's just so sad that Hobby Lobby is facing this choice. What company, even a successful family owned business like Hobby Lobby, how can they afford the government $1.3 million in fines every day? It's just really absurd that government is not giving on this," said Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser for the Catholic Association. Religious liberty groups like hers are watching the Hobby Lobby case closely.

"I am optimistic that these cases will eventually snake their way back up to the Supreme Court and given a full hearing on the merits of the case, I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty," Ferguson said. "But in the meantime there is serious damage being done to businesses like Hobby Lobby and nonprofit charitable organizations."

The Hobby Lobby case is just one of many before the courts over the religious exemption aspects of the law. The case represents by far the biggest for-profit group challenging the health care mandate.

After this piece of the law went into effect in August, religious nonprofits were given "safe harbor" of one year from implementing the law. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said in January when the administration announced the move.

Dolan's New York Archdiocese won a victory this month in its legal battle against the administration and the mandate. In May it sued the government in federal court in Brooklyn over the mandate, saying it "unconstitutionally attempts to define the nature of the church's religious ministry and would force religious employers to violate their consciences."

The government moved to have the case dismissed. On December 4, Judge Brian M. Cogan denied the government's motion to dismiss the case, saying the government's promise of changes to how it will implement the law were not enough to merit dismissal. "There is no, 'Trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution," Cogan wrote in in his decision to let the case proceed.

UPDATE: Hobby Lobby's $1.3 million Obamacare loophole

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (5,627 Responses)
  1. Science

    This is what the wedge strategy is trying to discredit, evolution.

    News Release Jan 30 2013

    3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

    University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

    Going forward, Seelig plans to create enzymes with useful applications while he continues to explore the underlying basic science of enzyme structure and function, aiming to learn more about the origin of enzymes and how proteins evolve.

    "Enzymes have always fascinated me," he says. "It’s rewarding to do work that has practical applications yet provides the opportunity to better understand how life on earth evolved."

    http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2013/UR_CONTENT_429344.html

    February 8, 2013 at 5:49 am |
  2. spocksbrain

    So according to Hobby Lobby's logic - then any employer at all, who employes anybody, can decide what medications and procedures their employees should or should not have under the penalty of not being covered. If for instance, my boss is the CEO of a major company, and happens to be a devout Catholic - he can alter company policy to not allow the health insurance provided to employees of all faiths and beliefs, to cover any form of birth control at all. If the CEO is a Jehovahs witness, I suppose he could preclude transfusions. If a Christian Scientist, perhaps he could outlaw medicines. We have this system, where employers provide health insurance as a compromise because we decided we didn't want single payer universal healthcare. But its totally inequitable to not provide identical coverage to all employees nationwide in thie nationally mandated plan. Nobody is telling Hobby Lobby to get an abortion. Hobby Lobby needs to simply provide insurance and hope its employees share its managements religious values - in private. Its not Hobby Lobby's place to enforce those beliefs on its employees.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Illogical Mr. Spock. We don't have employer paid health care because of the lack of single payer. We have employer paid health care because of wage caps imposed by the Federal government during WWII. Employers adapted and began using benefit packages to attract and retain employees. Though you employ dramatic examples in an effort to disassemble Hobby Lobby's argument, all you really point out is that the government should not be in the middle of contracts between free people beyond a very limited degree.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Logic

      As Mr. Spock might say, "That is very illogical". People don't have a right to employment at Hobby Lobby. It is not a government agency or program. It's a private business. If you don't like what coverage they provide, then don't work there. You are exercising your rights up-front. If you don't like the coverage they provide, you are also free to leave at any time. Nobody is forced to work there, nobody is forced to stay, nobody has a right to work there. BUT, the government is _FORCING_ the owners of Hobby Lobby to choose between violating their conscience or paying crippling fines. This violates their First Amendment _RIGHT_ to the free exercise of religion. They have not hidden their religious values from anybody. And they are not "enforcing their beliefs" on anybody. People are completely free to go do as they please with the money they earn, even if what they choose is in opposition to what the owners of Hobby Lobby believe.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Logic

      LOL, Bill beat me to the star trek reference.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Jen

      Bill, How are spock's analogies any more dramatic than Hobby Lobby's? Those religions absolutely believe that those medical interventions are immoral.

      I think Hobby Lobby's stance on contraception is dramatic. They oppose birth control – something nearly 100 percent of people use at some point during their lifetime.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Terry

      The whole Catholic new catachism thing that the Vatican has been trying to push isn't taking hold with the new generation. Former and potential young Catholics have moved on to greener pastures: other religions, or nones. Dying religion, views matter less and less.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jen, they are more dramatic because while most people recognize the debate surrounding abortion, many people would need to study the JW proscription against blood transfusions, for instance. While no blood transfusions for a JW seems valid, to the majority of us it is not. Spock conflates the two situations to make Hobby Lobby's stance seem connected to that and other esoteric examples. This is designed to make HL look ridiculous but in fact, what it does is highlight the insipid nature of the ACA from the get go. The Federal government has no just cause to mandate private contracts between free people beyond certain limits, namely the conscientious violation of one party for the benefit of the other.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The fact remains that if HL's issue is with an "abortion pill", then they've lost. They are trying to re-define what an abortion is in order to keep up the rhetoric of religious persecution bullshit going.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jen

      While birth control might equate to abortion to Hobby Lobby, for most of us it does not.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Jen

      It doesn't even matter what most of us think. What matters is the definitions and classifications used by the scientific and medical communities. Plan B has been classified as an emergency contraceeptive, according to it's effects. Therefore not an abortion.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Jen

      True enough Hawaiiguest. Though according to Bill's last post, he seems to think that JWs don't have a valid argument because there aren't enough people that agree with them. Just turning his post around on him.

      Seems that Bill has changed his position. He argued a few weeks ago that JWs have every right to deny coverage for transfusions.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • The Truth

      " While no blood transfusions for a JW seems valid, to the majority of us it is not." What absolute hypocritical bull shlt Bill. Now you are making this an issue of democracy claiming that if a majority don't feel it's valid, then it's not valid and the Church/business/person shouldn't have to comply. I hope you find yourself working for a JW employer who wouldn't cover blood transfusions or a Christian Science employer who refuses to pay anything for any health policy for full time employees regardless of the State or Federal mandates.

      If you want to argue this as a libertarian that the Fed should get out of all areas of peoples lives and let the employers decide if they want to provide health care for employees or limits on the hours worked or manadtory lunch breaks or safety rules monitored by OSHA and can decide whether or not to serve black or brown people in their establishment then fine, argue that. But to invalidate the Federal mandate out of hand because of your religious beliefs and claim it's somehow different than other religious beliefs because it's more widespread is beyond hypocritical.

      I for one will vote with my dollar by never going into a Hobby Lobby or a Chik-Fil-A again, ever, regardless of where they go from here. They chose to burn that bridge, not me.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Jen

      The silence from "Logic" and Bill is deafening isn't it?

      February 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jen

      No kidding Hawaii. What they both really mean is that employers are allowed to enforce their religion in the workplace as long as that religion is Catholicism.....

      February 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Logic

    @Jen
    The average size (since all babies do not grow at the exact same rate) _at_ 12 weeks is 2.1 inches. And since this video was shot back in 1984 when it was a bit harder to pinpoint the age in fetal development, it is quite possible that the baby being aborted was closer to 13 weeks (2nd trimester). There is a significant growth spurt between 11 and 13 weeks, with the baby going from 1.6 inches to 2.9 inches. Also, skull ossification begins at around 11 weeks, so while the skull certainly wouldn't be as hard as a newborn's, it is quite possible that it would still be too big and hard to pas.s through the cervix without some sort of compression. One thing I haven't been able to find (yet) is details on when cervical dilation practices may have changed, since if the cervix is given more time to open wider, it may be possible that most D&E abortions these days might not require compression of the skull at that stage.

    As for horrifying, I think the part where the living baby is obviously moving around while parts are being torn off left and right is much worse. Once the skull is the only thing left, the baby is obviously already dead.

    And as for RU-486, the reason I posted it (since it was the first pill to be called "the morning after pill", and is still used in Europe and China as precisely that) was to make a point that the scientist that invented it specifically compared the process of preventing implantation to abortion. But of course mentioning only part of the story would be pretty misleading, wouldn't it.

    As for the other questions, I'm a bit busy right now, and since you don't happen to be the one signing my pay check, I'll get back to you when I get a chance. But indeed, _if it was provable_ that a person took a multi-dose of a contraceptive with the intention to prevent implantation, and if abortion was illegal, I would say that the woman should be arrested and charged appropriately. Note though that I said "if it was provable", since I imagine it would be extremely hard to prove without some actual confession (which with things like Facebook and MySpace, isn't as rare as it once was). Note also that whether or not it succeeded to terminate pregnancy by preventing implantation, or whether there was anything to terminate at all is irrelevant as the willful actions with intent to commit a crime is in itself a crime.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Logic

      And I hate when I paste into the wrong window. This was meant to be down at the bottom of the page.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  4. larry5

    Do I have this straight. If you don't share Obama's religious beliefs you can be fined and if the fines continue you could be put in jail. There's not much I can do because I'm one of the little people but I went to a Hobby Lobby store and bought a radio control airplane. People there are afraid they will be unemployed if Obama keeps up his demands. Obama must think that if we are just the little people that stepping on us is okay is it suits his agenda. I'm ashamed of our President. What a piece of work.

    February 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Larry5...............You're a piece of Sh It. You're need to pull your head out your AZZ. You have no idea what you are talking about. you've been posting some of stupidest posts everyone has ever seen.

      February 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      Thanks for checking. No, you don't have it right. It is offering the same medical insurance options to everyone. The people who don't want it to use it do not have to, for those that do, it is there for them to choose.
      As for paying for it, I don't want to pay for all of the medical related expenses for fat people that eat fast food and don't exercise, which is one of THE biggest heath cost issues. But I'm not going to not pay in to the system to spite them because they deserve the same medical coverage from everyone, include you and me.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Peace out.

    Liberal groups and unions can get a waver, but a company that is run by a religious family can't.

    Obamacare is bad policy. The US government wasn't created TO PUNISH companies. Obviously, obama's vision of government power is different from Jefferson's.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      I was not aware of waivers for groups. Can you link the info on that?

      February 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @peace out............You are obviously related to Larry5. The only difference is that you have even less education than he does. I'll explain it in a way that even YOU can understand.

      If a person does NOT have health ins. and ends up in the hospital. Guess who pays the bill. YOU DO. The doctor and nurses and everyone that helps that patient, has to be paid for their work.

      Under Obamacare. People are required to have private heath ins. So when they get sick or injured. The INSURANCE CO. PAYS THE BILL. NOT YOU. Why is that so hard for people like you to understand.

      Do you like paying other people's health bill? I'm sure the answer is no.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • The Truth

      I have had numerous discussion with conservative Republicans and almost every single one had no idead this law was already on the books and has been since 1986. They are the dumbest most uninformed group in America and should not be let in to any discussion on "Obamacare" until they understand the fvcking laws we already have on the books.

      "The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)[1] is a U.S. Act of Congress passed in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

      It requires hospitals to provide care to anyone needing emergency healthcare treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.

      There are no reimbursement provisions.

      Participating hospitals may only transfer or discharge patients needing emergency treatment under their own informed consent, after stabilization, or when their condition requires transfer to a hospital better equipped to administer the treatment."

      Obamacare helps relieve the pressure on emergency rooms being the primary caregivers to people without any insurance and instead of spending billions on treatment we can save billions by spending just a small portion of the treatment costs on preventative care. We can save $9 of treatment for every $1 spent on preventative care. If you cannot understand this please go back to school and retake some math courses.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  6. Science

    Science Facts

    Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans on this thread

    updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
    Jan. 29 2013

    Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50620121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp

    February 7, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • lol??

      Don't need no stinkin' science high priests, either. They are slippery of course. Beware.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Science

      Better than the talking snake or his mate the donkey..

      February 7, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  7. Ken Margo

    On a gun control thread. A state passed a law allowing people to bring guns into churches. If church goers feel they need to bring a gun to church, it proves once and for all that god doesn't exist. Why don't the church goers simply pray to god for protection during the service? Have the church goers lost faith in god? It sure looks that way! And of course if god doesn't exist, the arguments against plan b don't have any legs to stand on. (They never did really)

    February 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • lol??

      The pwogwessives corrupt society and then blame God. What a plan!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • ¿¿lol

      why involve superstition, lol??

      February 7, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Peace out.

      Really? If people were "perfect", there would be no need for churches. Sorry, religious and irreligious people have issues.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @lol........First things first. Learn how to spell. I didn't blame god for anything. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the church goers.

      February 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • The Truth

      Don't forget Dr. Tiller being shot in the head in his Church. The religious want to be able to carry their guns in Church because they are tired of waiting on God to kill all the people they don't like...

      February 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  8. Suzy

    What if someone's religion says that there should be no mixing of the races. By Hobby Horse logic, that person could deny benefits to their mixed marriage employees' spouses.

    What if your religion says that women should earn exactly 1/2 of a man for the same work?

    How about if a vegetarian business owner said that no one who works for them is allowed to eat meat?

    These people can all seriously believe the importance of their rules. Should our society accommodate them all?

    February 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Yep, we have a lot of simpletons on here saying a private business should be able to do whatever it wants. But as soon as you question them they really only mean as long as it's within the narrow limits of their own personal belief system.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sara you don't really think Suzy's examples are equivalent do you? tsk tsk.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Saraswati

      @"Bill", I know somone's masquerading as Chad this morning, and I just saw the "Bill" post about stoning women which seemed unlikely to be you unless you've taken some interesting meds. Sorry if it really is you, but I won't be answering posts until what I suspect is an imposter is gone.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      "Sara you don't really think Suzy's examples are equivalent do you? tsk tsk."
      Yep. Looks like they are roughly equivalent.
      And who says tsk tsk anymore? Such an attempt at contempt just makes you post less able to stand on it's own.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  9. Jerry

    This law is totally wrong. Abortion is murder. The Feds are requiring Christians to endorse and pay for murder. How wrong is that!

    February 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Baloney. Plan B and other contraceptives do NOT cause abortion. Read something, dumbfvck.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jerry: Run to the closest police station and tell them you want to report a murder. Good luck with that

      February 6, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • bippy
      February 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Pure gold Bippy, pure gold.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • woodstockwoody

      Contraceptives prevent abortion from happening in the first place. If you want less abortion you should want more contraception. But then again, this is religion and logic is not welcome.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      Your confusing RU486, Mifeprex which is not covered, with Plan B which works like many other contraception pills.
      Go to wikipedia and enter: emergency contraction.
      And don't feel too bad, I used to assume they were the same thing until I did some research.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • The Truth

      "The Feds are requiring Christians to endorse and pay for murder." Jerry is right, though not the way he thinks. There is no murder using the morning after pill or even aborting an embryo prior to 22 weeks, thats the law, if you don't like it then keep proposing your personhood amendments and see how you get slammed by the majority again and again and again.

      But Jerry is right to say we do pay to endorse murder and you only have to look as far as our current drone policy to see why. For some reason though, the Christians don't seem to mind paying for the targeted killing of already living humans...

      February 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Truth....................Spot on. These phony crooked christians really don't really care about the kids. They never offer any money for the kids that they want to be born.

      As far as drones are concerned, I'm all for em. It's cheaper than sending troops, Troops aren't in danger, The invaded country cant say you invaded and want to stay.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • The Truth

      The drone debate is really a whole other issue, but the correlation is clear when you look at the actual tax dollars being spent. The religious get their panties in a bunch because they don't want a single penny of their tax dollars to go to something that may or may not be taking a human life depending on your definition, but have no problem spending billions making missles designed to be deployed remotely in some foreign country and by law, whatever they hit is considered an enemy combatant, even if you happen to be a child living in the home of an insurgent. I'm just not sure how they can reason this one out other than to say they think American newly fertilized egg's are far more valuable than any foreign brown people who aren't Christians.

      February 8, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  10. Mr. Aware

    I hope they FINE Hobby Lobby and that the owners go to jail. Breaking the law is breaking the law. Period.

    A better way forward is better explained by The Wary Lemming:

    goo.gl/vhCc5

    February 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  11. BeverlyNC

    FINE Hobby Lobby. Women should have the right to make their own health decisions just as men do. A corporation so backwards is not one I will shop again. I am so sick of corporations being the decider of the rights of workers, the rights of women and now being able to secretly donating large amounts of money in an election.
    Go bankrupt Hobby Lobby. We need corporations who care about employees not abuse them for more profit.

    February 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  12. Javan

    Why do Old Fat White Man (Of Black Men) feel they can continue to tell women what they can do..
    I don't believe in abortion, but is birth control abortion??? Also this should not be an issue until EVERY CHILD in the US is out of DFC custody. If one child has to grow up with the state then birth control should be legal...

    As anyone who was brought up in the system and they will tell you HORRIBLE stories.. If there not already in prison

    February 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If we want to keep children out of DFC we should stone pregnant women who can't provide for their children in the public square. I mean nip it in the bud!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  13. Janet Moyers-Bowmer

    While I am a Bible-believing Christian and detest abortion, I firmly believe that the health insurance policies in question belong to the employees and not to HOBBY LOBBY. Don't we pay income tax on the value of our healthcare coverage? Additionally, how many religious non-profits have coverage that cover viagra for men but not the hormones necessary for many women to regulate their cycles?

    February 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  14. Randy

    Hobby Lobby should cover contraceptives, butt lifts, breast augmentation etc.
    All this improve the quality of life for women in general.

    February 5, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Anyone who posts "The Silent Scream" as proof or evidence of anything has lost the argument.

    February 5, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Jen

      No kidding Tom. Try to at least post something that has some factual accuracy. The baby is screaming because it's mouth is open? A fetus often has it's mouth open (I don't think I have an ultrasound picture where the mouths are closed). And the baby is trying to get away from the instruments? Just like my three would move away from my hand anytime I lightly paced it on my stomach? My kids must have been terrorized the entire time they were in utero....

      Or maybe it was just a reflective action...maybe that's it. (pretty difficult to be scared and in pain when those parts of the brain haven't been formed yet). Even the obstetrician in the video admits he never says the fetus is in any pain...and he's as rabidly pro life as they come....

      February 5, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Jen

      Placed not paced

      February 5, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Logic is desperate.

      He cannot come up with any way to ensure that a woman's rights will not be infringed upon if the fetus has a "right to life" but he continues to argue that the fetus's right to life trumps the rights of a woman to be secure in her person–the very definition of freedom we hold dear.

      It can't be done. That's why abortion remains legal.

      It just irks Logic that he doesn't have any control over the lives of others.

      February 5, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Jen

      Yes I notice he continues to answer that question(because it's impossible of course).

      I've never come across someone that is so perplexed why others don't consider an eight celled organism as the exact same as a newborn. He just can't figure out why anyone doesn't have the exact same opinion as he does.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jen

      Not Answer. I'm way off today.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      In honor of Saraswati, a hypothetical, if the political will were reversed and the law stated that the fetus did have a right to life (no argument about when that condition occurs, just that it does) what rights exactly would be infringed upon the mother?

      February 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jen

      Bill, roe Vs. Wade determined that abortion being illegal violates the right to privacy under the due process clause under the fourteenth amendment.

      I think a good example where the law of the land fails to protect the individual is the incident in Ireland. A woman who's fetus was dying was denied an abortion due to it being illegal, and as a consequence the woman died. Quite clear the law of the land interfered with her rights.

      February 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, if that hypothetical were in play the mother's right to determine her own health care decisions would still be violated and this would have to play into the balance and decisions. Pregnancy is riskier and involves more health detriments (and yes, a very few pluses) compared to abortion...but even if that weren't the case the right of determination of healthcare belongs with the patient. We have well established rights in this country to determine for ourselves what healthcare we think is best, excluding cases of incapacity or mental illness.

      In your hypothetical we would have a conflict, virtually identical to those faced by conjoined twins when their choices for medical care differ. Quite often we have conflicting legal rights and the courts have to balance them, and would do so in this case in ways that we cannot currently determine without knowing the exact nature of the "right" that would be given to the fetus and whether it would be assigned a value equal to a born human.

      Note that we have essentially the same argument if we hypothesize that our left thumbs are given an independent "right" to life our our hair, and we wanted a haircut.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Logic

      "Even the obstetrician in the video admits he never says the fetus is in any pain...and he's as rabidly pro life as they come...."
      The obstetrician is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist and pro-abortion activist that helped to found NARAL. So while he eventually became "rabidly pro-life", he most certainly wasn't always. And just for the record, that video is from when he was an atheist.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Maybe Dill can respond to the hypothetical I posted earlier. Suppose a woman is pregnant. She is informed by her physician that the fetus requires surgery in utero. The woman does not wish to have surgery. If the fetus has rights, the woman would be violating them by refusing surgery. If she is forced to have surgery because the fetus has rights, then her right to bodily autonomy is being abrogated. No one in this country can be forced to have a medical procedure agains his will except in cases in which the person is found to be incompetent to make his own decisions and the power of attorney has been given to a 3rd party.

      What those who favor "equal or special rights" for the fetus don't seem to grasp is that we don't require ANYONE to donate and organ or a drop of blood to save someone else's life. You want to force women to give up rights that you as males will never be required to relinquish.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      The article here is about contraction, the movie silent scream is about a 12ish week old.
      It has no direct bearing on the affordable care act.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
  16. Science

    Creation story LOST.
    EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE Jan. 30 2013

    News Release

    3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)

    University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube

    Thanks Doc.

    February 5, 2013 at 6:30 am |
  17. matt

    hello

    February 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  18. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    One hundred years ago, it was not unusual for parents to intentionally not cultivate bonds with their children until they were maybe three or four, because chances were good that a child would die from the flu, whopping cough, or a countless list of other causes. The funerals of one of these unfortunate children were similar to the ones performed on still-births, and the children that did survive never did get the early development nurturing that our kids get. The world is not falling apart – it's getting better!

    February 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Jen

      Agreed!

      February 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Saraswati

      In 1900 life expectancy in the US was about 50...only 30 a few hundred years earlier. And then we spent most of our spare time picking lice off one another and mourning our missing teeth. We had little way of proving who committed a crime, or defending ourselves against false accusations.

      If you don't realize how good we've got it your looking in the wrong direction and really need to be searching for the negative.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Great points, Saraswati. I'm always amazed to hear people whine about how bad things have become, considering how far we've come since even 1900 as you've pointed out.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • The Truth

      The sad fact is that the often idealized past is one of a fanciful examination of a people we readily relate to and yet were very different from us. When you think of a an average life span of 50 you start to get a clearer view of a life that started much much earlier, virtually as soon as a child was able to lift a bucket, and went much faster with each life being worth much less. There has been an inflation at work with our very lives as they last longer and survive more tragedies due to science and technology enabling us to enjoy a healthy life far longer than any of our forefathers. And I for one am glad of it. I am glad we no longer see the effects of germs as apparent sin and blame everything wrong with our crops on the devil.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  19. Logic

    The reason you haven't heard of some of those is that the last four are used in medical schools, where they teach doctors and nurses.

    February 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Logic

      D'oh! meant to put this below.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  20. Ken Margo

    As far as when "life begins" We'll argue that till the end of time. I think the better question is when does "pregnancy begin" If you answer that question, That will clear things up (There's no ambiguity to pregnancy. Either you are, or you aren't). Pregnancy occurs when implantation happens. You can fertilize a egg thousand times, unless implantation occurs, she IS NOT PREGNANT.

    February 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Logic

      Unfortunately, there's not a consensus, Ken.

      preg·nan·cy (Noun)
      – The condition of a woman or female mammal from _conception until birth_
      Source: The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007
      – The period from _conception to birth_.
      Source: Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008
      – The gestational process, comprising the growth and development within a woman of a new individual from _conception through the embryonic and fetal periods to birth_.
      Source: Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009

      And there are other definitions out there, too:
      – The state of gestation; the period of time from confirmation of implantation of a fertilized egg within the uterus–presumptive signs of pregnancy include missed menses or a positive pregnancy test until the fetus has entirely left the uterus–ie, been delivered.
      Source: McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002

      Got to have a consensus for that to answer the question.

      Also, since you might have missed my message before:
      Slavery was legal, too. Are you saying that the people that stood up to that obvious injustice were wrong for doing so?

      "I DID SEE VARIOUS PHOTOS. THE FETUS LOOKS LIKE A TADPOLE."
      This is a tadpole:

      This is the baby at 8 weeks gestation:

      And again, your answer was evasive. Did you look at the photos I linked, or not? And if not, why not?

      February 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @logic.....The "road" to pregnancy is a series of steps. Orgasm, ovulation, fertilization etc.. The very important step that determines if a woman is pregnant is implantation. If implantation doesn't happen she is not pregnant no matter what happens before that. If a woman is not pregnant life has not, can not begin.

      February 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Jen

      Ken,

      In Logic's quest for the 'complete truth', he of course neglects to add that in medical terms conception is often considered to be implantation (in fact the definition of conception itself says fertilization or implantation or both).

      If we really want to argue this, you could argue that pregnancy starts on the first day of your last period. The first two weeks of a forty week pregnancy is before ovulation. That means Logic's wife is pregnant for two weeks every month and each time they avoid s-x they are ending a pregnancy. So Logic and his wife have had a lot of abortions.

      Sound ridiculous? Sure, just like every one of Logic's posts. We are talking about health care coverage here. As far as the medical community is concerned, pregnancy starts at implantation. That is what the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says. Catholic Church disagrees? Tough. They are not even close to being experts on the matter. The law obviously needs to follow what the experts say.

      An eight week pregnancy looks like a tadpole. I've seen the eight week blob on the ultrasound screen. It is still losing it's tail. At no point did I see anything that looks remotely like a baby. Regardless, who cares what it looks like? If you are arguing it's a full blown human being at conception, then what is your argument? You are implying that before eight weeks it is something less than human. You don't even realize you are damaging your own argument. W.o.r.s.t. Debating skills ever.....
      is not a human because it does

      February 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Jen

      Ignore the last line

      February 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @Ken – The "road" to pregnancy is a series of steps. Orgasm, ovulation, fertilization etc..

      Good thing for humanity that female orgasm is not a required step.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Jen –

      Nice post. If I may, as I see it this is the fundamental issue at hand:
      If Logic believes that an immortal, sentient soul is infused into the zygote at the moment of fertilization, then we've reached an impasse; Logic has decided to believe something without good evidence and no amount of contrary evidence is likely to change his mind. If that is not the case (and I believe it is), Logic needs to articulate precisely why he objects to stopping the reproduction of a very small cluster of (mostly) undifferentiated cells, something that occurs naturally millions of times each day.

      Logic?

      February 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Jen

      Ha ha my dog.

      Not necessary for reproduction but definitely necessary!

      February 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @Jen

      Imagine what humanity might be like if it was required for procreation! I doubt that religion would be oppressing women, and we certainly wouldn't be having this conversion. I for one welcome our magnificent child-bearing overlords!

      February 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...Erratum..."millions of times each year", not "millions of times each day".

      February 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @really...............Logic is going hurl some serious text at you. 🙂

      @Dog.................LOL. Female orgasms help a lot if you're planning to have more than one child with her. 🙂

      February 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Jen

      You're probably right my dog.

      Thanks really-o. Logic is just going to make the 'unique DNA' card again, when he really means 'because my church tells me it's bad'. He follows the Church's teachings to the letter (unlike 98 percent of Catholics) to the extent that he would never even use a condom. That is pretty extreme. It's unfortunate that he can't realize that humans invented all those rules, not god.

      He's not changing anyone's mind, and we won't change his. I only responded to this post because
      Ken asked me to. It's a pointless conversation now IMO.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Jen –

      Ahh...so Logic is Catholic (I suspected). If that is the case, I'd like his answer to the following question:

      If an immortal soul is infused at the moment of fertilization, why doesn't the Catholic church perform funerals for miscarriages?

      Again...Logic?

      February 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Logic.................In earlier posts you stated you were in the hospital. Hope all is well. You also stated earlier that you would DROP your health insurance if the contraception policy wasn't changed in the Obamacare. Would your recent stays in the hospital change your mind regarding dropping your health ins.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      A quick preemptive strike –

      I know the Catholic church will perform funeral services for a miscarriage or stillbirth if requested, but this is not a standard practice.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Logic

      conception (Noun):
      – the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both
      (source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary – same for medical definition)
      – Formation of a viable zygote by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; fertilization.
      (source: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000)
      – the fertilization of an ovum by a sperm in the Fallopian tube followed by implantation in the womb.
      (source: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, copyright 2003)
      – The formation of a zygote resulting from the union of a sperm and egg cell; fertilization.
      (source: American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005)
      – an imprecise term denoting the formation of a viable zygote
      (source: Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. © 2007)
      – The union of egg and sperm to form a fetus.
      (source: Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008)
      – the beginning of pregnancy, usually taken to be the instant that a spermatozoon enters an ovum and forms a viable zygote.
      (source: Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.)
      – the onset of pregnancy, marked by implantation of the blastocyst; the formation of a viable zygote.
      (source: Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003)

      Thanks for the tip, Jen. The medical definition of conception gave much clearer results, actually. Those last two definitions are particularly telling. But I guess I'm just making up dictionaries or something.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I've never even heard of most of those dictionaries. Either way, dictionaries reflect common usage, not actual meaning, especially in any kind of scientific sense.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Logic

      And I hate hitting enter too soon. My point was there were plenty more definitions in favor of what I've been saying, yet the last two point out the difference that I said before. No consensus.

      February 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Logic

      The reason you haven't heard of some of those is that the last four are used in medical schools, where they teach doctors, nurses, and other _scientists_.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Jen

      The Gale Encyclopedia sounds particularly credible. It thinks that a fetus is formed as soon as the egg and sperm meet. That MUST be right....

      You really have comprehension problems. I specifically put a definition that says either. I then said that the experts should have the say (after all, we are talking about health care here). The College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say implantation. They are the experts. They get the say when we are talking about health care. NOT the Catholic Church.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Logic

      And did you have a point in bringing those up?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      There are a number of ways to approach this. For me. it makes more sense to ask "When does consciousness that more closely resembes a human than other animals begin"? But even this wouldn't solve the ethical question. Without people laying out their primary ethical beliefs, which largely pass one another right by, the whole conversation is sort of silly.

      We have basic religious deontologists who have a list of what's right and wrong. We have secular and religious folk with rights based ethics. And we have folks like me who care about the end result, in my case a form of utilitarianism. Unless you're in the same camp its all just tossibing around words and maybe tweaking a few thoughts around the edges.

      Even among folks in a camp, like the many "rights" based folk, we have wild variation on what we think is a right and whether they are natural or not.

      I really wish everyone would state their primary ethical principles before beginning discussion...it would save a heck of a lot. of wasted breath.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      And as for anyone who thinks they're going to find moral truth in a dictionary...really?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Jen

      And the American Medical Association passed a resolution that any hormonal contraception that affected implantation cannot terminate an established pregnancy.

      But I'm sure the AMA has no idea what they are talking about....

      February 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Jen

      I agree Sara. It is stupid to argue over these definitions. My only point is that the law for health care coverage should follow the consensus of the medical community, not religious beliefs.

      My feelings are similar to that of Really o. Life is something to be protected once it becomes sentient (which approximates viability).

      February 4, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      Why are none of the sources you reference available online (at least I couldn't find them with a quick google)? Do you really own hard-copies of each and have spent your time transposing the definitions. Not one of the online source I was able to find (including Merck and Taber's) defines pregnancy in the same way you claim your sources do. In fact, American Heritage Dictionary online provides quite a different definition than you present. Why is that?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Folks, we have put every question, situation and option out there to show why abortions and birth should be legal. Fact is WE ARE WINNING this argument. Scientist are thisclose to a male birth control pill (about time). If sperm cannot fertilize an egg, that will kill all the "when life begins nonsense" The onus will be removed from women. It will then be 50/50 as far as birth control is concerned. I guarantee, The pro life men will have NO problem with male birth control for obvious s3xist reasons.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      "In Logic's quest for the 'complete truth', he of course neglects to add that in medical terms conception is often considered to be implantation (in fact the definition of conception itself says fertilization or implantation or both)."
      In just a quick search, I found that in 6 out of 8 definitions, the "medical definition" of conception was when the ovum and sperm meet. That leaves 2 for the either/or definitions (hardly "often" there). As for what ACOG thinks, what about what the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists? And before you say "who are they?", they're recognized as a special interest group within ACOG. So again, no consensus.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Ken

      I heard about that, and I can't wait till it's considered safe for distribution.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Logic

      @Really-O
      Simple google search:
      http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/conception
      Are you saying that all of those entries are faked? That'd be a pretty complicated hoax.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Logic

      And you're once again COMPLETELY IGNORING that dictionaries reflect common usage, and not actual meanings! How is this so freaking hard for you to grasp?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic – "Simple google search"

      Come on now Logic, you're entering Chad territory here. You listed as sources a number of medical resources and when I call you on it you offer "thefreedictionary.com", which you didn't even use as a source in your original post. Please, oh please, don't leave me to conclude that you are simply another dishonest fundie. Up until now our interactions have been fairly forthright.

      February 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Logic

      Really-O, you don't seem that unreasonable or lazy to me. Did you even click on the link?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      If you would be so kind, please answer the following questions:

      1) Do you believe that an immortal, sentient soul is infused into the zygote at the moment of fertilization?
      2) If so (assuming you're Catholic), why doesn't the Catholic church perform funerals for miscarriages?

      February 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      You're correct, I'm neither unreasonable or lazy. If by "link" you mean "freedictionary.com", then yes, I did look at that definition; however, "freedictionary.com" is in no way an authoritative source. You listed several medical sources that, as far as I can tell, are not available online. The authoritative sources available online of which I'm aware do not define pregnancy in the same manner you've posted.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Jen

      Well the pro lifers belong to a group that define pregnancy at implantation then. Thanks for agreeing with me.

      Your views are very extreme and contradictory Logic. On one hand you say that women are free to take the morning after pill as long as they pay for it themselves. You also say that it is an abortion pill and you believe abortion should be illegal. How can you believe that someone should be free to commit murder?

      February 4, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Logic isn't going to answer your questions (Not with any "logic" anyway) Pro lifers are like those that are pro gun. Talk about anything else but the truth. It's something all the pro lifers have in common and frankly it's going to take them dying out to be eradicated. As the catholic churches and schools shrink in numbers and members so will their influence.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      Come on, Logic...don't pull a Chad.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm not sure where believers are going with this. Human life begins at some point. Fine, but development doesn't happen all at once. We endow fetuses, human life, sure, with any rights they have. The rights are graded along with development. Properly, if a fetus is not viable without the mother, the rights of the fetus should derive from those of the mother. Termination of a pregnancy is murder only if we agree that it is a violation of rights we endow the fetus with.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Logic

      @Really-O?
      "1) Do you believe that an immortal, sentient soul is infused into the zygote at the moment of fertilization?"
      I believe that it's possible that that is the case. The Catholic Church has not taught authoratively on precisely when ensoulment takes place, but regarless of that, the Church "has always taught and continues to teach that the result of human procreation, from the first moment of its existence, must be guaranteed that unconditional respect which is morally due to the human being in his or her totality and unity as body and spirit." (Pope John Paul II)

      2) If so (as.suming you're Catholic), why doesn't the Catholic church perform funerals for miscarriages?
      No need to as.sume, I am Catholic, and the Church does indeed perform funerals for miscarriages. Prior to 1983, the Code of Canon Law (from 1917) didn't allow those that were not baptised to have funerals, but that changed with the updated Code.

      "You're correct, I'm neither unreasonable or lazy. If by "link" you mean "freedictionary.com", then yes, I did look at that definition; however, "freedictionary.com" is in no way an authoritative source. You listed several medical sources that, as far as I can tell, are not available online. The authoritative sources available online of which I'm aware do not define pregnancy in the same manner you've posted."
      I'm guessing you didn't use the page-down button likely on the top right side of your keyboard, but you'll find many of the definitions with proper listed sources for each one on that page.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Logic

      "unlike 98 percent of Catholics"
      And here's Jen again, grossly lmisrepresenting the facts.

      February 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      Thanks for the reply. You're no Chad (that's something of which you should be proud).

      Really quickly:

      1) I have no argument with you. If you choose to believe things for which there is no good evidence based on dogma, that is your choice. I'm personally uncomfortable with that methodology.

      2) Just to keep things honest here – the church will perform funeral rites for miscarriages and stillbirths if requested, but they are elective. No?

      3) I didn't see anything related to other sources when I scrolled down on freedictionary's website (sorry if I missed it), but the accepted definition of "pregnant" or "pregnancy", whether lay or medical, is irrelevant to me (I was just making sure you were being honest); my evolving position on abortion is centered on suffering – of both the fetus and the mother. I'd be happy to elucidate my position if you're interested.

      Cheers

      February 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      Sorry for the wonky formatting. Only the word "will" in the following sentence should have been italicized:

      "the church will perform funeral rites for miscarriages"

      February 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Tom..................... "Termination of a pregnancy is murder only if we agree that it is a violation of rights we endow the fetus with."

      We need to be careful. If you start giving the fetus any rights, when will it stop? Abortion could be made illegal through backdoor means. The president's idea to make birth control easier to get will ultimately shut up the pro lifers as abortions are reduced.

      February 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Jen

      Oh, changing positions again Logic? Before my husband wasn't a practicing Catholic because he has used birth control in the past(like 98 percent of other Catholics), and now you are saying he is? Good to know.

      You didn't answer my question. How can you be okay with someone taking the morning after pill if they paid for it themselves (don't backtrack on this – you said they are free to take it over and over again), when you think it's murder? How are you okay with murder? (don't say that it's the law – you have said many times that the law is unjust).

      And you never answer the questions. Really o was very specific the first time he/she asked you as to why there aren't funerals for ALL miscarriages. You of course answered based on the funerals being elective. That is NOT answering the question.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Logic

      @Really-O?
      "Thanks for the reply. You're no Chad (that's something of which you should be proud)."
      I'll take your word for it as I still haven't figured out who this Chad person is.

      "1) I have no argument with you. If you choose to believe things for which there is no good evidence based on dogma, that is your choice. I'm personally uncomfortable with that methodology."
      Just because the Magisterium of the Church has not ruled authoritatively and infallibly on something does not mean that there is no Biblical or traditional support for it. An example, in the Psalms, David speaks of being a "sinner since conception", and you cannot commit sins without a soul. Basically though, as a Catholic, in a case where we can't be morally certain, we have no choice but to give life the benefit of the doubt. And even if the baby has not yet been "ensouled", he or she is still a unique living human organism from the moment the sperm burrows into the ovum, one that will, if given the chance, proper environment and nutrients, continue to develop as a human being.

      "2) Just to keep things honest here – the church will perform funeral rites for miscarriages and stillbirths if requested, but they are elective. No?"
      Funeral rites themselves are not required, only recommended. They don't prevent us from entry to Heaven, nor do they get us there if we were unable to beforehand.

      "3) I didn't see anything related to other sources when I scrolled down on freedictionary's website (sorry if I missed it), but the accepted definition of "pregnant" or "pregnancy", whether lay or medical, is irrelevant to me (I was just making sure you were being honest); my evolving position on abortion is centered on suffering – of both the fetus and the mother. I'd be happy to elucidate my position if you're interested."
      I too think that the definition of pregnancy doesn't matter. If the zygote is a unique living human being before it meets some definition that says the woman is pregnant, it doesn't change that abortion is killing that unique human being. That's the problem. As for your position on suffering, I would very much like to know what you're thinking, thank you. Just so you know where I stand on that, I've seen plenty of scientific evidence proving that the baby can feel pain at and possibly even before 8 weeks gestation, and that a 12 week old fetus will try to evade the instruments of the abortionist. I highly recommend viewing this video and would very much like to hear what you think of it:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gON-8PP6zgQ&w=640&h=360]

      "Sorry for the wonky formatting."
      No worries, it can be a bit dodgy when we're fighting the bad words filter and are using the plain-text entry field instead of a nice WYSIWYG editor.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      No Jen, as I have said before, just because a poll shows that 98% of Catholic women "have ever used contraception", does not mean that they _do_ use it now, or _will_ use it in the future. The poll also was limited to women between the ages of 15 and 44, excluded any women who were a) not se.xually active, where that is defined as having had se.xual intercourse in the past three months, b) postpartum, c) pregnant, or d) trying to get pregnant. In other words, the study was specifically designed (as the prose discussion on p. 8 makes explicit, in bold print) to include only women for whom a pregnancy would be unintended and who are “at risk” of becoming pregnant. As for your husband, if he is using contraception, he is committing grave sins, plain and simple fact of Catholic Canon Law.

      I am not ok with someone taking a morning after pill, period. My point is that I am morally obliged not to pay for that. If someone isn't a Catholic, they are not bound by Catholic teaching. They are indeed free to take it over and over again, but that does not make it right. People have free will. They can choose to do what God wants, or choose otherwise. I am not ok with murder, and nothing I said speaks otherwise.

      And yes I did. Funeral rites are not a requirement for anyone, much less a stillborn or miscarried baby.

      February 5, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Logic

      Oh, and furthermore, only 1/3 of the participants in the study identified themselves as practicing Catholics (going to Church every week). Gross misrepresentation of the FACTS.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Jen

      Can you provide the source you have that says an embryo feels pain by eight weeks (non pro life of course – the abortion facts website you got that from isn't going to cut it).

      So assuming abortion was illegal, do you believe someone taking the morning after pill should be arrested?

      So strange that the poll only included women that were fertile. I guess they should be asking six year olds and eighty year olds to make the poll fair – right. So you're okay with a Catholic using birth control long as at some point they no longer use
      it. Good to know. Since almost all Catholics will live into their late forties and early fifties, there will come a time when they no longer use birth control because they will be infertile. So problem solved! No one will be committing sins anymore so they will be fine. My husband is a practicing Catholic then by your own definition. Since I made the decision to have a tubal, he is no longer using birth control. He tries everything he can to get me pregnant. It's not his fault that I'm now sterile, so you have to admit he's a practicing Catholic.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Jen

      Oh so you have to go to Church once a week to be a practicing Catholic? I guess when my husbands mother was on her deathbed and no longer going to church she ceased being a practicing Catholic.

      February 5, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      "Can you provide the source you have that says an embryo feels pain by eight weeks (non pro life of course – the abortion facts website you got that from isn't going to cut it)."
      Certainly a reasonable request. So as not to waste my time or yours, can you please provide me with your criteria for defining a "non pro life" source?

      "So as.suming abortion was illegal, do you believe someone taking the morning after pill should be arrested?"
      If there was enough irrefutable evidence that showed the morning after pill did not cause the death of unborn babies, then obviously not. But taking your as.sumption into consideration, if abortion was indeed illegal, I would certainly imagine that the burden of proof would be on the companies making the drug, and that the criteria for declaring that it does not cause abortions would rightfully be very high.

      "So strange that the poll only included women that were fertile."
      The likely reason they chose to cut off at 44 is the intersection of the likelihood of fertility with the likelihood of getting pregnant (40-44 years), yet those same statistics still show a 31% chance of fertility in the ages up to 50. Then, by excluding women who were a) not se.xually active (that rules out nuns and faithful Catholic women that are abstaining from se.x before marriage or for other reasons), b) postpartum, c) pregnant, or d) trying to get pregnant (any of those three likely covers many faithful Catholic women of those ages), that's already a tremendous skewing of the data away from the truth. Add that two thirds of the respondents would not qualify as faithful Catholics based on not stating that they attend Church weekly (the Catechism states "You shall attend Mas.s on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor", and the Code of Canon Law says "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to as.sist at Mas.s – CCC-1247). If someone is not performing one of the easier-to-know precepts of the Church's teaching, it is reasonable to as.sume that they either do not know the teaching of the Church, or they do not care what the Church teaches, both of which would explain the use of contraception against Church teaching. Regardless of ANY of this, _use_ does not equal _have ever used_ in any way you can look at it, nor is the Church a democracy. No percentage of the Church's membership can change Church teaching.

      "I guess they should be asking six year olds and eighty year olds to make the poll fair – right."
      Just the age range alone (15-44) makes the claim of "all Catholic women" false. At the very least, the age range should be included in any mention of that statistic.

      "So you're okay with a Catholic using birth control long as at some point they no longer use it."
      Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore. No Jen, I am not and never said anything to the contrary. On the other hand though, I am OK with God's forgiveness and a person repenting and changing their ways.

      "Good to know. Since almost all Catholics will live into their late forties and early fifties, there will come a time when they no longer use birth control because they will be infertile. So problem solved! No one will be committing sins anymore so they will be fine."
      If you're going to sit here commenting all day on what the Church teaches, you should at the very least take a few minutes to honestly Google up some answers first.

      "My husband is a practicing Catholic then by your own definition. Since I made the decision to have a tubal, he is no longer using birth control. He tries everything he can to get me pregnant. It's not his fault that I'm now sterile, so you have to admit he's a practicing Catholic."
      No, your husband is not a "practicing Catholic" by your own admission that he "does not buy it all". A faithful practicing Catholic has NO OPTION but to BUY IT ALL.

      "Oh so you have to go to Church once a week to be a practicing Catholic? I guess when my husbands mother was on her deathbed and no longer going to church she ceased being a practicing Catholic."
      There are exceptions for the sick, infirm and dying. Did they teach you nothing about research in MBA school?

      Your unwillingness to back down from the obviously skewed poll (taken by an organization that was created by Planned Parenthood) seriously damages your credibilty. And your cherry-picking of Biblical teaching ("judge not"), and apparent unwillingness to even try to learn what the Church teaches certainly does not support the idea that your motives might be honest.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Jen: "Can you provide the source you have that says an embryo feels pain by eight weeks (non pro life of course – the abortion facts website you got that from isn't going to cut it)."
      @Logic: “Certainly a reasonable request. So as not to waste my time or yours, can you please provide me with your criteria for defining a "non pro life" source?”

      See Logic, you aren’t that stupid or you couldn’t string a sentence together. That leaves manipulative and purposefully trying to waste time so you don’t have to answer a question. Not that I care – unless you don’t swat mosquitoes or eat meat or use drugs tested on animals the who “feels pain” argument is a total crock, but I just want to call you out on the fact that your attempts to avoid answering a simple question, probably out of pure laziness, are obvious to all.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Logic

      No Sara. I actually have to spend a great deal of time working and caring for my family, especially since my wife has MS and one of my children is Autistic. I take care of the kids about 90% of the time, while still working and running my business to support our family. Jen has stated that she wants unbiased information to back up my claim, a request that is perfectly acceptable. But in order to not waste my time (of which I have very little) or hers (possibly likewise) I would like to know her criteria.

      As for swatting mosquitoes and eating meat, the Bible says that God gave man dominion over the earth. Human life is to be protected (and by "human life", I mean a person, not their thumb or some hair). But thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, something that I am morally obligated to do whether I like you or not.

      February 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      -Chad is a prolific poster on this blog who is notorious for his dishonesty. If you need tutelage in how not to interact on this blog, Chad is the model.
      1) No real argument here (although I do not necessarily agree with your foundations). One point, however – shouldn't your "benefit of the doubt" argument also apply to the rights of the pregnant woman?
      2) Again, no argument here. However, the funeral rites issue does seem to be another bit of evidence (the church's changing stance on purgatory would be another) that conflicts with papal infallibility...no?
      3) As we both admit to agnosticism with regard to "ensoulment" (I like that, thanks), let's set that aside for efficiency. I'm sure we can both agree that intentionally inflicting unnecessary suffering on another being (not just human, from my perspective) is unethical. As suffering requires sentience (both science and philosophy widely agree on this point), then what we really need to be focused on is when in the prenatal process sentience occurs. While the probability of the current evidence doesn't provide a hard-and-fast rule as to when sentience begins, very good evidence indicates it is probably after the 26th week and, almost certainly, not before the 20th week (I can provide references if you like, but I'm kind of tired of typing – and you must be tired of reading by this point).

      So, that would be the gist of my position. Questions and comments are welcome.

      One quick point – Silent Scream, while evocative, really has been pretty much condemned as tripe by both the medical and scientific communities; you might want to re-think presenting it as argument.

      Cheers

      February 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic – re: "my wife has MS and one of my children is Autistic."

      Sincerely, you have my compassion for the challenges and suffering you and your family must endure. I have close family that suffer – and have died – from autoimmune disorders, including MS. I'm sure this isn't news to you, but have you investigated the Vanderbilt protocol for multiple sclerosis?

      Best wishes

      February 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Jen

      No you're the one that has no credibility Logic. You evade questions, don't answer those you have no answer to, and leave important facts put if they don't support your side.

      Are you seriously saying you're unaware of how most Catholics think that the church's stance on birth control is unreasonable? Can you not even admit that most Catholics do use birth control at some point in their reproductive years?
      Less than two percent of people use NFP. So either the other married Catholics are completely abstinent, or are popping out kids like rabbits, something we both know is not true. If you want to say that the people that have used birth control are not true Catholics, then fine – just say that. You're concluding that almost every person that identifies as Catholic is not actually Catholic. That's a better argument then saying in one post that the poll is skewed because it only considers people currently having s-x, and then saying in your next post that you can't be a practicing Catholic if you have ever used birth control without repenting during your reproductive years.

      And stop with the half truths. Just because 31 percent of women have not completely went into menopause does not mean they can get pregnant. By age 43 women have about a 2 percent chance of getting pregnant (and it keeps on falling). But the 31 sounds better so let's put that stat in instead. And I guess my father in law is not a practicing Catholic because he works every Sunday and sometimes can't get to Mass every week because of his irregular work schedule. But I'm sure the poll actually asked 'do you go to church every week or do you have a really good reason why you don't?'. Yeah, I'm sure
      that's it.

      You don't know what pro life means? Interesting. Very evasive as usual. The fact is that you wont find a non pro life source that says the embryo feels pain by eight weeks because it is impossible. The part of the brain that processes pain hasn't been formed yet and the embryo has no consciousness. As I pointed out above, the obstetrician in the video would not tell you that the embryo feels pain. Not sure why his being atheist has anything to do with anything, but you obviously thought it was important to point that out. Telling. But please, find me an UNBIASED source that says an eight week old embryo feels pain.

      Again, please answer my question. Should someone that takes the morning after pill be arrested if abortion is illegal? You didn't answer my question. Let's even as Sume that the morning after pill is no longer available because abortion is no longer legal and there is no conclusive evidence that it does not interfere with implantation. Let's as Sume the woman took
      a large dosage of the regular pill (effectively what the morning after pill is). Should she be arrested? Not a difficult question for someone as against the morning after pill as you are.

      February 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Logic

      @Really-O?
      "1) No real argument here (although I do not necessarily agree with your foundations). One point, however – shouldn't your "benefit of the doubt" argument also apply to the rights of the pregnant woman?"
      There is no benefit of doubt that isn't given to her. She is a living person and everyone accepts that. That is the doubt that is in question with the baby. The specific individual rights in question are not equal in importance.

      "2) Again, no argument here. However, the funeral rites issue does seem to be another bit of evidence (the church's changing stance on purgatory would be another) that conflicts with papal infallibility...no?"
      Funeral rites requirements are not dogma of the Church, only Canonical doctrine (teaching), and are subject to change or even complete deletion. As for purgatory, the Church has not changed its stance. It was dogmatically mandated by the Council of Ferrara-Florence and the Council of Trent and is something that Catholics have no choice but to accept. Don't confuse Papal infallibility and dogma with other forms of Church doctrine.

      "3) As we both admit to agnosticism with regard to "ensoulment", let's set that aside for efficiency."
      No I don't, but continue.

      "I'm sure we can both agree that intentionally inflicting unnecessary suffering on another being (not just human, from my perspective) is unethical."
      Agreed, as it would be against Catholic Christian teaching.

      "As suffering requires sentience (both science and philosophy widely agree on this point), then what we really need to be focused on is when in the prenatal process sentience occurs. While the probability of the current evidence doesn't provide a hard-and-fast rule as to when sentience begins, very good evidence indicates it is probably after the 26th week and, almost certainly, not before the 20th week (I can provide references if you like, but I'm kind of tired of typing – and you must be tired of reading by this point)."
      I'd have to say that I am at odds with this. Recent studies (Bellieni 2012, Beshkar 2008, Merker 2007, and more) have shown that children born with hydranencephaly (lacking most or all of the cerebral cortex) "clearly possess discriminative awareness". I think this seriously challenges the "requirement" of a cerebral cortex for a person to experience pain. Furthermore, several other studies show evidence of motor responses as early as 7.5-8 weeks, including one by Dr. Kadić in 2012, that said "The earliest reactions to painful stimuli motor reflexes can be detected at 7.5 weeks of gestation", that makes it complicated at best for me to simply accept that it cannot feel or in some way experience pain.
      Regardless of all of this, I don't think the inability to feel anything is a legitimate excuse for killing someone. Nor do I think that some sign of an ability to be sentient should be the way to decide whether a human being qualifies as a person.

      "One quick point – Silent Scream, while evocative, really has been pretty much condemned as tripe by both the medical and scientific communities; you might want to re-think presenting it as argument."
      While I do think some of the ways the information was presented were dramatic (the name, for example), I think the video and sonogram footage of an actual abortion happening, along with the step-by-step description of the process are still valid and useful educational tools. That was a real 12-week old fetus being aborted on the sonogram and if that bothers someone that might be considering an abortion, maybe they should be asking themselves why.

      Oh, and thank you very much for the info on the Vanderbilt protocol. Looks quite interesting.

      Tara, mate.

      February 7, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • Jen

      Actually no. That is not how a twelve week abortion is performed. There is no crushing of the skull in a first trimester abortion as the fetus is less than two inches along (when the overwhelming number of abortions are performed). I have no idea why they did it in the film but have no doubt it was to try to scare and misinform people, as that is obviously the part of the abortion people would find the most horrifying to watch.

      But keep on lying Logic. Why don't you tell Really O that RU 486 is the morning after pill, like you did on the other blog? Really O might realize you are actually just like Chad,

      February 7, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Logic

      @Jen (reposted in the correct location)
      The average size (since all babies do not grow at the exact same rate) _at_ 12 weeks is 2.1 inches. And since this video was shot back in 1984 when it was a bit harder to pinpoint the age in fetal development, it is quite possible that the baby being aborted was closer to 13 weeks (2nd trimester). There is a significant growth spurt between 11 and 13 weeks, with the baby going from 1.6 inches to 2.9 inches. Also, skull ossification begins at around 11 weeks, so while the skull certainly wouldn't be as hard as a newborn's, it is quite possible that it would still be too big and hard to pas.s through the cervix without some sort of compression. One thing I haven't been able to find (yet) is details on when cervical dilation practices may have changed, since if the cervix is given more time to open wider, it may be possible that most D&E abortions these days might not require compression of the skull at that stage.

      As for horrifying, I think the part where the living baby is obviously moving around while parts are being torn off left and right is much worse. Once the skull is the only thing left, the baby is obviously already dead.

      And as for RU-486, the reason I posted it (since it was the first pill to be called "the morning after pill", and is still used in Europe and China as precisely that) was to make a point that the scientist that invented it specifically compared the process of preventing implantation to abortion. But of course mentioning only part of the story would be pretty misleading, wouldn't it.

      As for the other questions, I'm a bit busy right now, and since you don't happen to be the one signing my pay check, I'll get back to you when I get a chance. But indeed, _if it was provable_ that a person took a multi-dose of a contraceptive with the intention to prevent implantation, and if abortion was illegal, I would say that the woman should be arrested and charged appropriately. Note though that I said "if it was provable", since I imagine it would be extremely hard to prove without some actual confession (which with things like Facebook and MySpace, isn't as rare as it once was). Note also that whether or not it succeeded to terminate pregnancy by preventing implantation, or whether there was anything to terminate at all is irrelevant as the willful actions with intent to commit a crime is in itself a crime.

      February 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jen

      They do not crush the skull at 13 weeks either.

      I love how when you get called out on your lies you go do a quick Internet search and come up with – well they call it that in China! As if you usually default to China for your medical information.

      The reason I asked you about the pill is because breastfeeding blocks implantation (and unlike the morning after pill definitely is proven to block implantation). Now before you argue that no one that breastfeeds is intentionally trying to kill a zygote, I'll give you my very own scenario. When I started ovulating again while breastfeeding, I tried to get pregnant again. Despite being fertile again, I wasn't able to get pregnant right away. I knew full well that i was likely conceiving and then the zygote was not implanting. I was correct because as soon as I stopped breastfeeding – poof – I was pregnant again. Although my main intention was not to kill zygotes, the zygotes died nonetheless, and I was fully aware that it was happening. I put my child's wish to continue breastfeeding above the right of the zygotes to live. Would this be a crime in your opinion?

      Of course this is all hypothetical because even in the scenario you describe where someone announced on Facebook they took a large dose of the pill there would be no crime if abortion was illegal. You can't charge a crime when there is absolutely no proof a zygote ever existed in the first place.

      February 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Wrathbrow

      "conception (Noun):
      – the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both
      (source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary – same for medical definition)"

      By that definition if a women goes to the toilet and then a guy masterbates in to the same toilet then conception may happen. If is the toilet bowl temporarily pregnant?

      February 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      I am very familiar with the effects of breastfeeding (all four of our children were breastfed exclusively, and the gaps between them are 2 years plus). Breastfeeding is legal, a good thing (also morally good, whether you care or not) and even though the effect of doing so means that implantation might not happen, it is a natural side effect of a good and legal action. And like you said, your intent was to feed your child. No malice, no intent to commit a crime, no direct criminal action. Taking birth control pills in a way that is other than prescribed with the intent to stop a possible pregnancy (as.sumed otherwise why take the larger dose?) is a VERY different situation. If abortion is illegal for this hypothetical, then the intent to commit a crime is there, so long as it can be proved (which, as I said before would be pretty hard to do). But just like in a bomb plot to blow up a building or some other place where people _might_ go, the criminal intent alone is a jailable offense, even if nobody showed up to be blown up. So, to directly answer your question, so as not to be accused of avoiding it, NO, it would not be a crime to breastfeed your child, even if the result was a failed implantation.

      February 7, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Jen

      Hmmmm...interesting. So it is okay to kill life as long as that is not my main intention.

      Yet I'm sure (as the good Catholic that you are), you are against IVF. The people that undergo IVF do it with the best moral intentions. They want to bring a life into the world that otherwise would not be here due to their medical disease. They want to bring life into the world – a good and moral thing. Yet some embryos may end up getting killed in the process. However in your own words there is no malice, no intent to commit a crime and no direct criminal action.

      Now I'm sure you want to launch Into how it's not humans that have a right to decide which embryos live or die, but that would not refute the argument above in any way, shape or form. None of the people undergoing IVF have any malice or intent to kill embryos when they undergo IVF (as long as they are not destroying or donating leftover embryos). In fact their intent is exactly the opposite – to give life. Just like my intent was to give life, but by doing so some zygotes unintentionally got killed.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Logic

      Knowing that something can have an effect does not equate to something you intend to do. Breastfeeding is a good thing to do that has a _completely natural side effect_ of reducing one's ability to get pregnant. Natural is the key word here, since God is seen as the creator (yes yes, usual disclaimers apply) of all natural things. That of course doesn't mean that it's impossible for someone to have evil intentions when doing something like that, but I'd find it hard to believe that they would intend to kill babies if they're bothering to breastfeed. And it was you that said "nobody is pro-abortion", so I think my as.sumption that you did/do not intend to kill a baby while breastfeeding is pretty solid.

      Regarding IVF, to have the "best moral intentions", one must understand the morality involved. (Catholics have to act based on their conscience, but you can't act based on a conscience if it is uninformed.) Trying to overcome infertility is indeed a good thing, but we can't do evil with good intentions.

      The problems with IVF for Catholics are many. First, it separates the unitive component of the se.xual act from the procreative component. Any time we have se.x it must include both parts (that's what we're talking about when we say that se.x must be "open to life"). Since we see children as a gift from God, we are recognizing that we have no _right_ to a baby, just the same way that you have no _right_ to a birthday present. Children are not commodities. Add to it the problem of how the IVF process works. The semen is almost always collected by masturbation, which is immoral (against Catholic teaching). Then there's the common process of eliminating "extra" or "defective" embryos (selective fetal reduction), which is also immoral. Donor eggs and sperm are immoral since they aren't from the husband and wife (the marital embrace is supposed to be between the husband and wife, nobody else involved). And most importantly, IVF is used as a means to an end (making a baby) when husbands and wives are supposed to be "making love". The marital act is not a manufacturing process, it is a mutual and selfless giving of each to the other, with the possibility of engendering a baby as the outcome of that loving act.

      Catholics are _not_ forbidden from using medical (surgical and chemical) means to help them get pregnant through the acceptable and proper (do I have to keep inserting disclaimers?) ways (ones that don't remove conception from the marital act).

      Oh, and let me go back and address one of your previous questions about Catholics and contraception.
      "Are you seriously saying you're unaware of how most Catholics think that the church's stance on birth control is unreasonable?"
      It matters whether a person who identifies as a Catholic actually believes what the Church teaches and faithfully tries to live in accordance with that teaching. That's why simply saying "most Catholics" is misleading. There are many "Catholics" that have never darkened the doors of a Catholic Church. All it takes to be "Catholic" in its most basic sense is a valid baptism (since baptism creates an indellible mark on the soul). But that doesn't mean that you "buy all of it", or even know what "all of it" is. Being a faithful practicing Catholic _requires knowing_ what the Church teaches. Furthermore, like I said before, the Catholic Church is not a democracy. If indeed "98%" of Catholics were using contraception on a regular basis, that would not invalidate Church teaching, it would merely show that 2% were living faithfully and the rest were not. It is not a subject up for a vote. The glaringly obvious purpose of the Guttmacher study is political, and the points they are trying to make are grossly misleading.

      "Can you not even admit that most Catholics do use birth control at some point in their reproductive years?"
      "Do" and "have ever" isn't the same. Nor are "Catholic" and "faithful practicing Catholic". Nevertheless, there are many otherwise faithful practicing Catholics that do use birth control. If their parents, priests, bishops, RCIA teachers, friends, and others aren't properly educating them, why would you expect them to even realize that there's a problem? This points out a serious and significant failing of the bishops to make sure that their flock are properly educated.

      "Less than two percent of people use NFP."
      The study actually said that "only two percent", not "less than two percent", and again, that was based on anyone that identified as a Catholic.

      "So either the other married Catholics are completely abstinent, or are popping out kids like rabbits, something we both know is not true."
      The same study shows that 11% of women that identified as Catholic are using "no form of contraception at all". And since the study excludes people that are not "se.xually active" (had se.x recently), as well as those who are trying to get pregnant, post-partum, etc., it still does not speak in any way reliably about what all Catholic women actually think or do.

      "If you want to say that the people that have used birth control are not true Catholics, then fine – just say that. You're concluding that almost every person that identifies as Catholic is not actually Catholic."
      Wrong. Baptism is an indellible mark on the soul. Once you are baptised a Catholic, then you are a Catholic. If you use birth control as a Catholic, you are objectively sinning, i.e. not a "faithful practicing Catholic". Plain and simple. It is not an option that is left up to personal reflection.

      "That's a better argument then saying in one post that the poll is skewed because it only considers people currently having s-x, and then saying in your next post that you can't be a practicing Catholic if you have ever used birth control without repenting during your reproductive years."
      If you don't repent and stop sinning, you are not a faithful practicing Catholic. You are not in communion with God and the Church. You are in a state of mortal sin until you repent, confess your sins, and receive absolution. Regardless, this poll asked the participants if they "have ever used" contraception. Not "do" but "have ever".

      February 8, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • midwest rail

      If a half-hearted "apology" is the total response from the Bishops, I don't think I'll be retracting my statement regarding their hypocrisy anytime soon.

      February 8, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Logic

      Ahh, there you are. First, it's not a "half-hearted apology". The Bishops put the smackdown on the hospital who have now admitted their mistake, promised not to do it again, and dropped their counter-suit. The case (from what I have read so far) was tried on existing law which does not count unborn babies as "persons" with rights. While the lawyers should not have used that defense, the Judge actually should have (that's his job, after all). Also, apparently the other part of the case (wrongful death of his wife) was not successful. I don't have all of the details of the case, but it appears to be because the hospital itself was not found to have done something wrong. Remember, they paged the doctor, the doctor didn't respond. They hospital cannot guarantee that communication technology can work 100% of the time (I'm an IT specialist and FCC licensed broadcaster, I know what I'm talking about). Does your computer work perfectly 100% of the time? Your cellphone? I seriously doubt it. And as far as I know, the widower is continuing his appeal in court, so we'll have to see how that goes. But if he doesn't have a case against the hospital, then tell me how he has been specifically legally wronged? If the hospital didn't do anything wrong that led to the deaths of his wife and children, he has no legal recourse, regardless of how the lawyers improperly (by Church teaching, not legally) defended the hospital.

      February 8, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Logic

      Furthermore, the Bishops have made sure that the hospital knows and respects Church teaching. Where is the hypocrisy? What specifically do you think they should do?

      February 8, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Jen

      You will have to do better than bringing god into it. If you make taking the morning after pill illegal, you also have to make IVF illegal. Take away the god component and you only have the artificial argument. If we argue it can't be done because it is artificial, then we also have to make most medical treatments illegal (there's nothing natural about c sections, pacemakers, painkillers, etc). And of course your views of whether it is moral do not apply to me whatsoever. Let's see if you can rework that IVF argument without the irrelevant mention of a creator (unless you're talking about my parents who I agree are my creators) or that it is artificial (as most medical treatments are). Let's recap....the morning after pill should be illegal because you intend to kill, breastfeeding should be legal because you don't intend to kill, and IVF should be.....

      Sorry, but you're not convincing me that the study is misleading. In line with that study are several other studies that show that over eighty percent of Catholics have no moral objection to birth control. This shows the legitimacy of the previous study because there are obviously going to be Catholics that think birth control is immoral but use it anyway (just as there are many Catholics that seek abortions even though they think they are immoral). I would be very surprised if many Catholics do not know the Church's stance on birth control. It has been very publicized due to how ridiculous it is. I've known about it for as long as I can remember and I certainly was not raised Catholic. And every time I go to church with my husband they are railing on and on about something to do with s-x. So I'm quite sure most Catholics (at least in this country) are aware.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      If IVF cannot be done without the "selective fetal reduction" (aka abortion) bit, then indeed, I think it should be illegal too. No argument there. The argument isn't that unnatural things can't be done, the argument is that babies are human beings with rights and murdering them should not be allowed. God does not have to be part of that argument. IVF should be illegal because intentional abortions are part of the process, not a "natural side effect" of another process. (This would be if abortion was illegal, that is.)

      "Sorry, but you're not convincing me that the study is misleading. In line with that study are several other studies that show that over eighty percent of Catholics have no moral objection to birth control."
      The methodologies of the study do not amount to the statements being made about the results. "Have ever used" is not "DO USE". Not the same thing, grossly misleading. So if I were to take a similar poll, I would be identified as a "Catholic" that "has ever used contraception", and if it was being reported the same way, I would be part of the percentage of Catholics that use contraception (which I DO NOT AND WILL NOT, even though I have in the past, and I was a baptised Catholic when I did, but not a "practicing Catholic"). The report even goes so far as to state "In real-life America, contraceptive use and strong religious beliefs are highly compatible." If the religion has a rule that says it is not permissible to use contraception, that is _incompatible_, regardless of what followers might choose to do. Political manipulation.

      "This shows the legitimacy of the previous study because there are obviously going to be Catholics that think birth control is immoral but use it anyway (just as there are many Catholics that seek abortions even though they think they are immoral). I would be very surprised if many Catholics do not know the Church's stance on birth control. It has been very publicized due to how ridiculous it is. I've known about it for as long as I can remember and I certainly was not raised Catholic. And every time I go to church with my husband they are railing on and on about something to do with s-x. So I'm quite sure most Catholics (at least in this country) are aware."
      Failure to follow the rules does not negate the rule. And yes, I don't argue that there are plenty of Catholics that know at least something about the Church's "stance" on contraception and abortion, but, like your husband, they may not "buy all of it" for whatever reason, or they may not realize (through poor catechesis or misinformation) that it isn't just a stance, but a moral obligation with no wiggle room. Plus there are plenty of self-identified "Catholics" in this country that either don't go to Church at all, or go rarely. But I will agree with you on one thing. This current controversy has brought the subject into the public forum so that Catholics who don't know or aren't following Church teaching will have a better chance of finding out. And again, I think that the bishops (not all of them, though) have dropped the ball here and really need to get the word out.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jen

      I specifically said not including those cases where embryos are destroyed or donated to science. Plenty of people keep their remaining embryos frozen (very much alive). Some people are now donating their remaining embryos to childless couples. Some embryos will not survive the procedure, but this is not unlike the 40-50 percent of zygotes that naturally fail to implant.

      The fact is you are against IVF because of your religious beliefs. Same reason you are against the morning after pill. But your religious beliefs can not interfere with my rights under the law. I do not share your beliefs. If I were infertile I have every right to seek medical treatment. If my birth control fails I have every right to obtain emergency contraception.

      Yes you were part of the 98 percent but are part of the very small percentage of Catholics that have repented for it. The over 80 percent are definitely not repenting if they have no moral objection to it. At most fifteen percent repent for their actions (though I'm sure that some of those people don't actually regret using birth control even if they are morally against it).

      February 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Logic

      Then my apologies, I missed that little part in the parenthesis there. Regardless, I did say that "If IVF cannot be done without the "selective fetal reduction" (aka abortion)", so that was covered. And again, my religious beliefs need not enter into it. If a baby is a person, I argue that that person has the same rights we all have, including quite specifically the right to life. This would still not make it something a Catholic could morally participate in, though.

      And no, I was not part of the 98% since that poll was about Catholic _women_, but I'm guessing you're not saying that specifically, so I'll let it slide since I understand your point. Again, _NOT AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION_ of the truth, since the statements regarding the poll keep saying things about what people "do" rather than differentiating it from what they "have ever" done. And I'm not saying that the number of Catholics that do mostly follow Church teaching and yet use contraceptives is particularly low. I'm saying it doesn't mean what the pollster and government are presenting it to mean. I fully agree that the Church has not done a good enough job informing its followers of the rules. As for people that repent, you can't repent without regret, otherwise you aren't forgiven. Saying you're sorry means nothing unless you actually are sorry.

      February 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Logic

      Underscoring my point:

      "contraceptive use and strong religious beliefs are highly compatible"

      _ARE_ (that's now, not ever)

      February 8, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      1) "There is no benefit of doubt that isn't given to her". This is not correct. Compulsory pregnancy denies women autonomy. This is unjust and unethical. As Edward Abbey said, "Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."

      2) I'll have to accept your position here as I'm quite ignorant of the inner-workings of Catholicism. It does seem a bit like quibbling, however.

      3) a. Sentience is not required for motor reflexes. b. The current probability of the evidence (certainly not conclusive) supports sentience not occurring before 24 weeks. I assert this issue is where the abortion discussion belongs. I cannot imagine a secular argument that would make prohibition of termination of a zygote or blastocyst ethical. Just so were clear, for practical purposes, I'm unconvinced by religious arguments.

      Regarding "Silent Scream" I'll reiterate – the intent of this footage is not to inform, it is to sensationalize. If one is actually interested in the procedure of medical abortion, there are far better sources available.

      I'm glad you looked into the Vanderbilt protocol. Good luck.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Logic

      1) In almost ALL cases (greater than 99%), pregnancy is a choice that the mother either made by performing the act that causes pregnancy, or by accepting the risk that she might get pregnant (contraception is not foolproof, no excuses here). In the fraction of a percent of cases where a woman is actually rap.ed, the crime is that the rap.ist has illegally made her choice for her. If the baby is a person that should have the same rights as any other person, killing the baby violates the baby's rights. A woman being inconvenienced for nine months is not equal to a baby being killed. That is unjust and unethical.

      2) "I'll have to accept your position here as I'm quite ignorant of the inner-workings of Catholicism. It does seem a bit like quibbling, however."
      Don't accept my position, see for yourself exactly what the Church teaches by getting it from the source (http://www.vatican.va). I as.sure you that there is no quibbling.

      3) "a. Sentience is not required for motor reflexes. b. The current probability of the evidence (certainly not conclusive) supports sentience not occurring before 24 weeks. I as.sert this issue is where the abortion discussion belongs. I cannot imagine a secular argument that would make prohibition of termination of a zygote or blastocyst ethical. Just so were clear, for practical purposes, I'm unconvinced by religious arguments."
      Oh, you "as.sert" it. OK, my bad. Game over. I had no idea that you were as.serting it this whole time. (/sarcasm) And by what authority, may I ask, do you as.sert it?

      "Regarding "Silent Scream" I'll reiterate – the intent of this footage is not to inform, it is to sensationalize. If one is actually interested in the procedure of medical abortion, there are far better sources available."
      While I'll agree that some of it seems unnecessarily dramatic (and that's not even taking into account the wardrobe), I would think that "as.suming the motives of those who disagree with you must be nefarious is problematic." (And if you were as.suming that they were sensationalizing it, I can reasonably carry that forward to say that you are as.suming that they were trying to misinform people with the intention of stopping abortions, something that, in your opinion, would violate their rights, and therefore be a criminal act... aka, nefarious.)

      February 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Jen

      Logic, you have stated before that a fetus can be aborted to save the life of the mother? Why? There are plenty of instances where you can save the life of the fetus and allow the mother to die (pre eclampsia being one such instance). Why would you choose the mother over the fetus if they both deserve the right to live? The mother chose to take the risk whereas the fetus did not.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      1) You're no longer engaging in rational discussion when you begin to talk about "babies". We are not discussing "babies", we are discussing embryos and fetuses. And, the simple fact of the matter is, the law currently does not imbue embryos and fetuses (before specified stages of development) with rights. And no individual's (and embryos and fetuses are categorically not individuals) right to autonomy should supersede another's. I know you disagree and I understand your reasons, but your position is not supported by the law of the land or lines of secular reason.

      2) I'm not really that interested in the codified superstitions of the RCC. I don't intend to offend, I'm just stating a fact. The church has, however, changed their position on numerous issues through the ages (keep your eyes open, the pope may soon bless the use of condoms).

      3) Has our discussion now degenerated to semantics? Perhaps I should have said, "I posit this issue is where the abortion discussion belongs." as you seem to have some negative connotations associated with the word "assert".

      "and therefore be a criminal act... aka, nefarious." - for the life of me I don't understand the intent of your last few sentences. That said, it seems clear, given that the founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America is the narrator of the film and it was produced in partnership with the National Right to Life Committee, that Silent Scream presents an anti-abortion narrative. Believing otherwise is willful ignorance.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Logic

      No I haven't, Jen. I have stated that it is OK (for Catholics) to do something to save the life of the mother that has the unfortunate, but not sought-after side effect of potentially or likely causing the baby to die. That is not the same as saying that the fetus can be aborted to save the life of the mother. Both deserve the right to live, and every attempt should be made to save both lives. This is what is known as the principle of double effect. Rather than try to sum it up simply, just read this for a full understanding of what I believe: http://www.hli.org/index.php/cloning/400?task=view

      February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      One bit of clarification needed: Bernard Nathanson, Silent Scream's narrator, was a founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America, but became an anti-abortion activist prior to the filming of Silent Scream.

      February 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Logic

      1) I think that's splitting hairs, Really-O. OK then, shall we just say human being? Certainly you can agree that (as biology textbooks show) a zygote is one of the stages of human development, correct? Stages of _human_ development. So you are arguing that an individual (it has its own DNA, its own gender, in a very short time has its own heartbeat, its own brain, blood type, legs, arms, hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, etc.) should not have the rights of other individuals? I'd say that's discrimination.

      2) That's OK, I'm not offended. But as you are unwilling to examine _ALL_ of the evidence, you are then showing your willingness to pronounce the Catholic Church guilty without a fair trial. I as.sert that you are incorrect in your statements of fact, and challenge you to present your evidence to the contrary. You made the statement as fact, prove it. Or perhaps you think that it is OK to defame the character of persons or organizations?

      3) No, I'm just messing with you, mostly. "Assert" is a pretty forceful word, one that I would suggest goes along with authority (the way you used it). Posit, on the other hand, can also mean "suggest", which I think is more appropriate in the context in which you and I are speaking.

      "for the life of me I don't understand the intent of your last few sentences."
      Just wanted to make sure you understood that I knew the meaning of nefarious.

      "That said, it seems clear, given that the founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America is the narrator of the film and it was produced in partnership with the National Right to Life Committee, that Silent Scream presents an anti-abortion narrative. Believing otherwise is willful ignorance."
      Yet you believe that Planned Parenthood must have good intentions? Correct, it does IN FACT present an anti-abortion narrative, one that people like me fully and completely believe is the truth, and therefore a good thing. I actually don't as.sume that someone who supports abortion has evil intentions. People can be fooled.

      And as for the clarification about Bernard Nathanson, I know (not sure if you were clarifying it for my purposes or the purposes of others reading here).

      February 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Logic –

      1) I agree that a "zygote is one of the stages of human development". I do not agree that a zygote is a "human being" and it certainly is not an "individual". Current law and scientific consensus supports my position, not yours. I know that does not decide who is "right", but that most likely will never be decided. I hope you realize that this is the reason progress in terms of defining the ethics of abortion is at a standstill. Both sides are ruled by extremists. Your position is one extreme – "abortion is immoral and unethical from the moment of fertilization". The other extreme is "there should be no restrictions on legal abortion...none!"

      2) I already accepted your assertion in my February 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm post. There's no argument here. (My condom comment stands, however.)

      3) I'm not making a moral or ethical judgement with regard to Silent Scream; I'm simply stating the fact that the film has an anti-abortion narrative. I also do not make moral or ethical judgements regarding PPFA; I simply acknowledge that their agenda (and narrative) is "pro-choice". My problem with your assertion in an earlier post regarding PPFA and the profit motive is a separate issue. PPFA has a pro-choice agenda – I do not think there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the counseling they provide their patients is motivated by profit (that violates professional medical ethics, by the way).

      February 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Jen

      Fair enough Logic, as long as you understand why the Catholic teaching is not law. As soon as you assign equal rights to mother and fetus you place a mother's fourteenth amendment rights as risk (ie the law can be used to violate her rights). Prime example of where this happened is Ireland, where a mother requested an abortion to save her own life and was denied because abortion is illegal.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Jen –

      It's a very complex issue that deserves careful, rational, contemplation. Unfortunately, we may never arrive at a solution that satisfies everyone. That said, preservation of women's autonomy is paramount.

      Cheers

      February 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jen

      Absolutely Really O. Abortion is a very complex issue and I absolutely understand the pro life stance. But when we get extremists on both sides of the issue we end up not achieving what both sides want to accomplish – reducing the number of abortions. And I firmly believe that calling the morning after pill an abortion is an extreme, just like aborting at nine months for no medical reason is as well.

      February 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.