Oral arguments at the Supreme Court on Tuesday in the Conestoga Wood Specialties and Hobby Lobby case showed bureaucrats and special interest groups led by the abortion lobby are willing to coerce you to participate in anything they say is a “right,” especially abortion.
The government's view is so extreme that Justice Anthony Kennedy was inspired to ask whether the government's theory means a business “could be forced in principle to pay for abortions,” and that families in business “just don't have any standing to vindicate [their] religious rights.”
“You’re right,” declared U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
This should be a shocking revelation, but it is entirely consistent with Planned Parenthood's influence on the government's case.
The abortion giant, which performs more than 300,000 abortions each year, has assembled several other groups -- the “coercion coalition” -- supporting Obamacare's mandate.
The coercion coalition recently penned joint letters and op-eds calling upon the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare’s coercion of citizens to provide abortion-inducing products for other people or pay massive fines.
And they wrote a series of friend-of-the-court briefs on the government’s side of the case, insisting that however and whenever they choose to redefine “freedom,” state coercion of other citizens is a necessary part of these radically expanded “rights.”
It isn’t enough for the coercion coalition to make abortion or other new “freedoms” legal. To them, freedom means that all Americans must participate in other people’s activities, such as abortion.
Planned Parenthood lurks about the country demanding that health plans buy abortions and denying that doctors have the freedom to object to committing abortions.
As the Arizona Court of Appeals put it, Planned Parenthood believes “a woman's right to an abortion or to contraception” automatically lets the government “compel a private person or entity to facilitate” it.
The federal administration marches in lockstep with the coercion coalition and quotes its arguments extensively.
Their collective view is that, because of the cases leading up to Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand, a “compelling” interest now exists to force private citizens to pay for other people’s abortion pills, methods, and related items.
At oral arguments, the solicitor general harped on the idea that no one may religiously object to the mandate. Why? Because Obamacare coerces health plans to cover abortion pills and birth control.
Government compulsion is its own justification. If a bureaucrat tells you to participate in someone else’s abortion, that alone generates the “right” to coerce you.
A neutral observer might wonder how “civil rights” groups become lobbyists for government coercion. But that’s because words mean different things in a regime of total government control.
Freedom now means that the government forces you to buy and assist those things that Planned Parenthood wants you to do. Coercion is the new “freedom.”
Planned Parenthood used to claim that it wanted the government out of the bedroom. That has all changed with its coalition’s desperate bid to coerce Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties.
Not only must the government be in other people’s bedrooms, you have to tag along. And make sure you stop at the ATM on the way to get enough cash to pay for their abortions.
The coercion coalition knows what is at stake in the Obamacare mandate cases. They have already found judges and bureaucrats willing to create radical new “rights” like abortion.
Now they must force other Americans to join in. The coercers cannot allow real freedoms (like the ones actually written in the First Amendment) to stand in the way of forcing Americans to buy, participate in, and celebrate abortion and other newly invented “rights.”Matt Bowman is senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Conestoga Wood Specialties and other family businesses in lawsuits against the Obama administration's abortion-pill mandate.