1. Hobby Lobby built its case on an extreme interpretation of medically refuted pseudo-science.
Here’s the thing about the Hobby Lobby challenge to the contraception mandate: The company was already doing 80 percent of what’s legally required before it sued the government in 2012.
Hobby Lobby already covered 16 of the 20 methods of contraception mandated under the Affordable Care Act, but it didn’t cover Plan B One-Step, Ella (another brand of emergency contraception) and two forms of intrauterine devices. This is because the owners of Hobby Lobby have incorrectly labeled these methods of birth control and emergency contraception as “abortifacients,” a claim popular among anti-choice ideologues but refuted by scientific evidence and major reproductive health associations.
“These medications are there to prevent or delay ovulation,” Dr. Petra Casey, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, told the New York Times in a piece on the science behind emergency contraception. “They don’t act after fertilization.” As the Times noted, there is no credible evidence to support the claim that emergency contraception like Plan B and ella prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb. Instead, the pills delay ovulation and hormonal IUDs thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, meaning that fertilization never even occurs. When used as a form of emergency contraception, the copper IUD can interrupt implantation, but this still does not mean a pregnancy has occurred.
There are actual abortion-inducing pills on the market (they are incredibly safe and widely used) — emergency contraception is not one of them.
Hobby Lobby is hoping the Supreme Court will swallow pseudo-science as medical fact, which, put politely, requires some serious chutzpah.