Plan B - 06/30/14

   After today's landmark Supreme Court decision on emergency contraceptives, it looks like female employees of Hobby Lobby will need to come up with their on 'Plan B.'  The High Court sided w/ the arts & crafts store saying it did not have to provide its workers emergency contraception under ObamaCare. 

    In a well publicized case, the family owned  Hobby Lobby chain argued that doing so violated their religious rights.  They sought protection under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act  to keep from having to pay for 'day after' emergency solutions to end unwanted pregnancies. 

     Several surveys show most of us want our health insurance plans to cover birth control.  I do too.  Afterall, it takes two to tango and female workers shouldn't be saddled  with 100% of the out of pocket cost and responsibility of birth control.  However, keep in mind.... this  ruling affects three companies.  A Christian bookstore, Hobby Lobby and a Menonite woodworking company.   Companies that are run by two or three family members.  We're not talking big corporations here.  The ruling does not apply to the typical American company, therefore most of us women are completely unaffected by this ruling.   All 3 of those companies sued not over birth control, but over something known as abortifacients, ie medicines that abort an unwanted pregnancy in the days after sex.   The ruling lets these companies refuse to pay for this type of contraception.  This ruling doesn't suddenly give all employers the right to deny women birth control as some of the headlines might mislead you to believe. 

   Women's groups are already seizing on the ruling claiming sexism since five male justices voted in favor of Hobby Lobby in this case.  I couldn't disagree more.  The truth is this case isn't about contraception at all.  It's about preserving religious rights.    Regardless of your take on emergency contraception, having unprotected sex and regretting it, ending an unwanted pregnancy, casual sex or any other issues here---  most of us want to be able to worship & believe (or not)  how we want to.    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act does just that.   Our government can't  restore our freedom of religion on the one hand and chip away at it on the other.   One attorney said it best when she said,  "This ruling will protect people of all faiths....." 

   If Hobby Lobby had not prevailed in this controversial case, the company could have been subject to fines totaling more than a million dollars a day for not following the ObamaCare mandate to provide emergency/day after contraception.  Hobby Lobby didn't have a problem with birth control pills.  It had a problem with pills that work after conception.  In their eyes, that's abortion and subsidizing that type of pregnancy-ending pill went against  Hobby Lobby's religious morals.
 
    The Obama Administration says this ruling will hurt women and could endanger their health.  Don't drink the kool-aid.  The truth is insurance companies could still be required to cover the contraceptives without Hobby Lobby having to share in the cost.   This is already an accommodation made to non profits by the administration..... the group insurer or a third party administrator picks up the tab.  This case really was a slam dunk.  How could  you allow this leeway for non profits, but deny an exemption for a private company which had a religious conflict?  Our government can't and shouldn't play favorites.  That's risky  business.

     In a nutshell, the judges' decision lets Americans retain religious rights even while running a family owned big business like Hobby Lobby.  That's what makes this a great country.... our long list of freedoms.  So, you don't agree?  Simple.  Don't shop at Hobby Lobby & don't apply for a job there.  That's your right too. 

 

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Last Update on October 21, 2014 09:08 GMT

WATER THEFT CHARGE

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) -- An annoying insect is bugging homeowners in southwestern Michigan, and some say it just plain stinks. A Michigan State University program says the brown marmorated stink bug has been detected in low numbers in traps set around fruit and vegetable crops. But there are "a few hotspots." Cathie Buckley, of Stevensville, Michigan, lives with her husband on 6 1/2 acres including a former blueberry patch. The couple are finding the bugs "all over the place," and she says she's encountered hundreds of them. "I have lots of them -- and my husband can't stand the smell of them," Buckley said. "They are horrible." The stink bug does not bite or pose any danger to humans, but it has a gross smell.

SPEEDWAY WEDDING

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- Two NASCAR fans raced to the altar to finally arrive at marital bliss. Kevin Lane and Ashlea Leggett got married on the Talladega Superspeedway infield before the GEICO 500 in Alabama on Sunday. The Athens, Georgia couple attended the race last year, as their first big trip together. So this year, they asked their friends and family to join them on the track for a ceremony before the race. The gathering was complete with a 10x10 foot white tent, flowers and music playing from a smartphone connected to a small speaker. After the 15-minute ceremony, the entire crowd shared wedding cake and watched the racers rev up.