Boxer: Why doesn’t Hobby Lobby oppose Viagra?

posted at 12:41 pm on March 25, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Behold one of the most chronically misinformed members of the US Senate surprising utterly no one with the extent of her insight into the Hobby Lobby case.  Barbara Boxer appeared on MSNBC this morning to declare her support for the HHS contraception mandate, claiming at one point that it protects the religious freedom of employees. As Twitchy captured in this segment, Boxer then goes on to challenge Hobby Lobby’s owners for hypocrisy for not opposing insurance coverage of Viagra for men … which even flummoxes Boxer’s MSNBC interviewer:

First and foremost, Viagra (and other erectile-dysfunction drugs and treatments) aren’t widely covered by insurance. That’s one reason why a large online market for inexpensive purchases of the drugs exist. Second, as anyone who gives a moment’s thought about the subject would realize, such drugs would be appropriate to help empower natural procreation, which isn’t against anyone’s religion, last I checked. Lastly, and this is a more minor point, Boxer ignorantly invokes the Catholicism of the plaintiffs in this court hearing, when none of them are actually Catholic.

The religious objection is to contraception and sterilization, and in the Hobby Lobby case, it’s narrowed to a specific kind of contraception — abortifacients. Boxer blithely dismisses the distinction and blathers about the employer taking away the woman’s right to choose her form of contraception — which is nonsense. Just because an employer refuses to subsidize that choice does not mean they are forbidding it or blocking access to it. It’s the same kind of “war on women” double-talk that assumes that employers have total control over the private choices of their employees, when the existence of an independent salary demonstrates the exact opposite. No one gets paid in company scrip any longer, and haven’t for a century or so.

It’s utter drivel, and its source is unsurprising, to say the least.

Reuters, by the way, suspects that the majority of the court will rule on behalf of the businesses:

Take that with a Lot’s-wife-sized grain of salt, though. It’s usually a fool’s errand to guess the outcome of a Supreme Court case based on the tenor of the oral arguments.

Update: Ed Whelan hears second-hand that Justice Breyer may be a vote to overturn the mandate, and perhaps a 6-3 victory for Hobby Lobby is in the offing. We’ll check back when Whelan reads through the transcripts.


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