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 August 28, 2015 14:37 GMT

RICK SPRINGFIELD-YOUR BUTT IS FINE WITH US

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Rock musician Rick Springfield was a big hit at the opening day of the 2015 New York State Fair. So was his tush.

The singer best known for his 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl" had been sued by a New York woman who said she suffered serious head injuries when Springfield's buttocks hit her after he fell off the stage during a concert at the suburban Syracuse fairgrounds in 2004.

In January, he won the seven-year legal battle when a state Supreme Court judge in Syracuse said the performer didn't injure the concert-goer.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that during last night's performance Springfield, who turned 66 Sunday, thanked fans for supporting him during the trial. One fan held up a sign that read: "`'Rick your butt can fall on me anytime."

PREGNANT METEOROLOGIST GIVES BIRTH TO TWINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Philadelphia meteorologist who went online to fight back against "haters" critical of her pregnant appearance has given birth to twin girls.

KYW-TV says Katie Fehlinger (FEH'-lin-jer) went into labor after her morning shift Tuesday and delivered the girls Wednesday afternoon.

Parker Janice was born at 12:58 p.m. She weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Kaeden Faye arrived a minute later, weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces

Fehlinger shot back at critics last week in a Facebook post, attracting national attention and support from thousands of people.

She wrote that the industry makes her an easy target for criticism. But she said it crosses the line to post "nastygrams" about pregnant women.

Fehlinger, a Lehigh Valley native, has been with the station since 2011.

WOMAN TICKETED FOR BREAST FEEDING WHILE DRIVING

SEATTLE (AP) -- A 43-year-old Washington woman was given a $136 ticket this week for breast-feeding while driving.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/nxbX7D ) the woman was pulled over on Interstate 5 around 7 p.m. Wednesday after someone called 911 to report a child sitting in a driver's lap.

State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis says that when the trooper approached the car, he could tell that the woman was breast-feeding.

The woman admitted she was breast feeding and had done it before because her 1-year-old son screams uncontrollably when he's hungry.

Francis says they had a talk about safety and parental responsibility and the officer issued a ticket for child-restraint violation.

Court records show the woman has a history of driving infractions, including using a cellphone while driving, speeding and following too closely.

NEBRASKA LOTTERY- SCRATCH AND SNIFF

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Even if it isn't a winner -- a Nebraska lottery ticket could still give you a good whiff.

The Nebraska Lottery says it will be selling Sriracha-scented scratch tickets as part of a new $2 scratch game.

It's called Hot Sriracha, and each ticket contains a scent replicating that of the famous Asian sauce. The game offers three $15,000 top prizes and a total of more than $468,000 in cash prizes.

Acting Nebraska Lottery director Jill Marshall says in a news release that lottery officials think the new game "is the first Sriracha-scented scratch game ever made."

Lottery spokesman Neil Watson said Thursday that tickets are being distributed and may be purchased wherever they're offered.

POLICE TO COMPILE FREQUENT-DRUNKARD LIST

AURORA, Illinois (AP) -- The police department in an Illinois city is going to compile a "habitual drunkard" list to help fight public intoxication.

Aurora Police Department Sgt. Tom McNamara says the list will have "certain clientele" whom police and fire departments see regularly. The (Aurora) Beacon-News reports (http://trib.in/1IhxoVp ) that includes people whom police and fire personnel transport six times or more in a 120-day period.

The City Council approved keeping the list this week as part of an overhaul to city liquor laws. Aurora is west of Chicago.

Police say the goal is public safety. Those on the list won't be able to purchase liquor in Aurora and local businesses are expected to comply.

Authorities say they got the idea from Madison, Wisconsin, which has a similar policy.

 
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