As you may have heard, a federal judge in Michigan threw out a lawsuit brought by the ACLU to try to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
That’s good news.
But pay attention to why the lawsuit was dismissed. It wasn’t because forcing Catholic hospitals to perform abortions would be a gross violation of the First Amendment. In fact, it had nothing to do with religious freedom, or conscience, or any of that.
It was thrown out because the alleged harm against future female hospital patients was “too speculative.” In other words, the only reason the ACLU wasn’t able to force Catholic hospitals to do abortions was because the women in the states where these hospitals are located could probably go somewhere else to get an abortion.
See the problem here? Implicit in this whole line of reasoning is that abortion is such a fundamental right that it trumps religious liberty and freedom of conscience, and that if the ACLU could in fact show that future patients were “harmed” by the Catholic hospitals’ refusal to perform abortions, well…
Of course this is exactly what is at stake with the Little Sisters of the Poor case that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. It has been decreed that contraception is such a fundamental right of existence in a free society (women’s health!) that not only must everyone have legal access to it (which they already do, and have had for decades) but that it must be provided free of charge by those who believe it violates their religious beliefs.
That this question is even being considered by the Supreme Court, and that at least four out of nine members of that body are certain votes against religious freedom, is madness.
But what is more terrifying is that birth control is just the tip of the iceberg. Contraception is playing it’s familiar role in the jurisprudence of reproductive rights. It’s a stalking horse, a trial balloon, a foot in the door. We all know what the real prize is for the Left. The ACLU case in Michigan makes it clear enough.
Three years, maybe five. It won’t be long before the issue that was just temporarily disposed of by a federal district judge in Michigan is being argued in front of the Supreme Court. For surely, if the right to free contraception is a necessity for women’s health, isn’t abortion even more central to reproductive freedom? How can a woman’s choice to beget a child be more important than the religious claims of another person, and yet at the same time, those religious claims can deny her the means of controlling whether she bears a child? It doesn’t make sense.
Of course it doesn’t, which is why the fight over contraception is just the opening act. It’s good news that the Michigan case got thrown out. But it will be back, and soon.