Correcting the Record in light of Sec. Hillary Clinton’s false statements

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed-in on the Hobby Lobby decision yesterday (see above), and her analysis is so egregiously in error that I could not let it pass without some comment.

She claims first of all that this is the first time that the Supreme Court has found that a corporation has religious freedom and thus that employers can impose their religious beliefs on employees. Now this is a curious characterization of yesterday’s opinion. Religious freedom does not give anyone—individual or corporate—the right to impose one’s beliefs upon someone else. Yet Clinton speaks as if the right of individuals to “impose their beliefs” has now been given to corporations. What a gross mischaracterization of our first freedom.

Furthermore, employees are still free in this country to buy contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. No one is preventing them from doing that. Yesterday, the Court said that they are not free to expect Christians and other people of conscience to pay for them. Hobby Lobby’s desire not to pay for their employees’ contraceptives is hardly “imposing” their religion onto them. Anyone who thinks that it is is either severely confused or cynically dishonest.

Contrary to what you may have read, the employees of Hobby Lobby are not being denied or coerced in any way. Hobby Lobby, however, was. The federal government was trying to coerce the owners of Hobby Lobby into violating their most deeply held religious beliefs. To miss that is to miss the point entirely.

Clinton also claims that the Court’s ruling will prevent a Hobby Lobby sales clerk  from getting contraception “because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.” Maybe Clinton is not familiar with this case. Perhaps she had not reviewed the Court’s decision when she made these remarks. If so, she should have refrained from comment because this is a demonstrably false statement.

Hobby Lobby has always provided contraception through its health plans (even before Obamacare!). Hobby Lobby simply objected to four methods that are potentially abortifacient. So Hobby Lobby is offering in their health plans sixteen out of the twenty FDA-approved contraceptive devices. Birth control pills, diaphragms, and a host of others are all included. It is simply false to say that Hobby Lobby is not making contraceptives available to their employees. Even though this was a great applause line for her, this is a misinformed statement that she should retract.


  • Ian Shaw

    It’s a half truth, which is normative behavior for most if not all politicians, especially those that seek to regain or maintain their positions.

    Problem is, 99% of sheeple will think she’s being 100% truthful.

    • Chris Ryan

      Its not a half truth. Its the complete truth. This is the most activist court of the modern era. They are a complete disgrace, undermining the country at every turn. Here they’ve overturned a statute passed by a democratically elected body to create out of whole cloth a right that has never existed in our over 200 yrs of independence. “Closely held” corporations are simply that: corporations. 52% of Americans work for a privately held business. Its bizarre to think of them as capable of having religious beliefs. Just b/cs a company is private doesn’t mean it gets to disregard the laws that every other company adheres to. If you can’t abide by the law then you shouldn’t be in business.

      • Johnny Mason

        Chris, the contraception mandate was not created by a democratically elected body. It was not in the ACA bill passed by Congress and signed by the President. It was created out of whole cloth by the HHS secretary.

        Now, if it is bizarre to think a corporation has religious beliefs, then it is also bizarre to think that corporations have property or speech rights, but I dont see you railing against the NY Times.

      • Mike Gantt

        I actually agree that the court erred to treat a family-owned corporation like it was a family instead of a corporation. I wish they hadn’t done that. However, I also think abortion is the taking of an innocent life and that the government should allow neither a family or a corporation to facilitate one.

      • Ian Shaw

        Chris, if you sue a corporation, in the court system they are treated as a legal person. But yet you don’t think they should be treated as such anywhere else?

        It’d be a completely different story if they were publicly traded however. And I agree with Johnny. The mandate was not passed by Congress.

      • KevinM

        Its not a half truth is a complete lie actually. The Supreme Court did its job and cleaned up Obama’s violation of people’s constitutional rights. But of course like most liberals you think the first amendment should only apply to you. The disgrace was when the Supreme Court let the core of this entire problem (the ACA) itself stand. Funny how liberals all screamed and cheered that the court was right then but now that its slapping their would be dictator down they are disgraceful and activists. Hypocrite.

  • Mike Gantt


    If it’s right and important to call Mrs. Clinton to task for mischaracterizing the facts of the case and so perpetuate a false narrative (and it is), isn’t it even more important to chastise the news media for not clarifying these issues for their audiences?

    Is it not the responsibility of news media to make sure each side understands the same set of facts? I am sitting slack-jawed as one news outlet after another just repeats the talking points of polemicists who are being selective with the facts. Don’t journalists pride themselves on educating and enlightening the public?

    Even if a reporter disagreed with the Supreme Court decision regarding Hobby Lobby, wouldn’t fairness dictate that he or she report just how limited Hobby Lobby’s victory was, and that all their female employees lost was access to 4 contraceptives out of 20 that will cost them $9 a month if they want to take one of those four pills every single day?

    Where is a principled news reporter or editor?

    • Jane Dunn

      @Mike — You need to check your own “facts.”

      “that all their female employees lost was access to 4 contraceptives out of 20 that will cost them $9 a month if they want to take one of those four pills every single day?”

      1. It’s not “four pills.” It’s 2 emergency contraceptive pills and 2 intra-uterine devices.

      2. It’s not “$9 a month.” The pills that cost only $9 per month are the ones that Hobby Lobby does not object to. The IUD’s that Hobby Lobby does object to can cost upwards of $1,000. The two emergency contraceptive pills each cost around $50 per dose.

      3. It’s not pills that a woman takes “every single day.” The two types of emergency contraceptive pills that Hobby Lobby refuses to include are not daily contraceptives. They are emergency contraceptives taken only when necessary.

      • Ian Shaw

        ~They are emergency contraceptives taken only when necessary.~

        And when exactly would those times be necessary? Jusat curious

              • Travis Ash

                “I’m not the one taking it so it’s not for me to define.”

                But aren’t you making a claim that these emergency contraceptives are sometimes necessary? If so, we want to know your reasoning. Thanks.

              • Jane Dunn

                You haven’t actually made a point, Shaun. That I am not the one to define someone else’s emergency does not make it any less an emergency.

                • Ian Shaw

                  That’s the point. If you claim for their to be ’emergency’ reason for someone to need this kind of drugs, but are unwilling to define such ’emergency’ or leave it open ended for others to whatever ’emergency menas to them, isn’t that taking a pretty passive side and equating to a ‘whatever truth is to you must be truth’, kind of statement?

                  Flame me is you must, but chances are, the majority of these ’emergency’ reasons are not from rape or incest. Just like the majority of abortions performed at PP each year most likely are not from incest or rape (again not that I support abortion in those cases either). That means yoiu have to add ‘behavior choices’ into the mix. And of course those that are pro-choice want nothing to do with personal responsibility as we can do whatever we want with our bodies and be dealt no consequences.

                  • Jane Dunn

                    You are seriously misinformed about the range of possible situations in which a woman might require emergency contraceptives. I didn’t define “emergency” because each woman’s situation is different at the time she might need EC, but now that you’re talking about the range of different situations, you should be accurate.

                    Apart from rape and incest, one of the other major reasons for using EC is failure of another type of contraceptive such breakage or slippage of a condom or diaphragm. Another is after an incident of unprotected sex, which of course can happen even within a marriage. Women who struggle to afford other types of contraception or who have partners who won’t cooperate with NFP or condoms may find themselves in need of EC.

                    Not all women, or even most women, who require EC need it because they have acted irresponsibly. And “acting irresponsibly” isn’t the standard for a Christian to object to insurance coverage. If it were, there would be a lot of gluttonous men, including a lot of pastors, whose heart attacks and strokes should not be covered.

      • Mike Gantt


        Let’s assume for the moment that your facts are correct. That leaves us with 16 of 20 forms of contraception being available for free to all female employees of Hobby Lobby, and paid for by Hobby Lobby without complaint. How then is it right for Walter Isaacson to say on the video clip above “that the corporation could deny contraceptives to women under healthcare if it was a family-run corporation” when it is clear that Hobby Lobby will be providing 16 of 20 ACA-designated contraceptives free to its employees? Isaacson is a Harvard grad, a Rhodes scholar, and made his reputation as a journalist, editor, and biographer. Whether he misstated the facts intentionally or unintentionally, he certainly inflamed passions with what he said. This is why I fault him more than Hillary Clinton. That said, she is a respected attorney and highly intelligent and therefore should have known better. Still, I think it’s reasonable to expect more truth from a journalist than from a politician.

        I don’t mind that some people disgree with the court on the Hobby Lobby decision. What’s troubling me so much is that this narrative has gotten out into the public that the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby could deny contraceptives to its employees and people who are in a position to know better are reinforcing that misrepresentation rather than correcting it.

        The news media could provide a valuable service to both sides by clarifying issues and making sure that the facts are all on the table and properly stated.

        • Jane Dunn

          I wasn’t talking about Isaacson. I was specifically responding to what you incorrectly claimed the facts were. You’re not taking responsibility for what you said that was incorrect.

          • Mike Gantt


            You are now showing yourself guilty of the same sin Isaacson and Clinton are committing: obfuscation of relevant facts.

            I don’t know whether your source or mine is correct about the cost of the 4 drugs/devices in question. What we both know, however, is that Hobby Lobby’s female employees are still not going to have to pay for them even with the Supreme Court decision. This is because the Obama adminstration will rule that either the insurance company or the government will pay (which means, of course, that Hobby Lobby and/or taxpayers will foot the bill because all insurers and the government do is pass along costs).

            Hobby Lobby’s plea to the court was: “We’re happy to pay for the 16 contraceptives, but we can’t in good conscience pay for the 4 abortifacients.” If you think that it’s wrong for Hobby Lobby to get away with not paying for abortifacients, then have the courage to say so. But don’t hide behind the misrepresentation that Hobby Lobby has been allowed to deny contraceptives. That’s cowardly. And it’s just a sophisticated form of lying.

            • Jane Dunn

              Mike — I’m not obfuscating anything. You stated what you thought the relevant facts were. I just stated you were incorrect. You haven’t refuted anything I’ve said. All you’ve done is tried to change the subject to things I was not talking about. I haven’t said one word about what Isaacson or Clinton said. It’s you who are lying.

              • Mike Gantt

                Jane, I may have been misinformed about the cost of the abortifacients – or perhaps it is you who are misinformed. In neither case, however, am I lying. And in neither case is it relevant to the matter at hand, which is telling the truth about what the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case. They certainly did not rule that Hobby Lobby could “deny contraceptives” to anyone. This was the point of the original post, and it has been the point of my comments.

                • Jane Dunn

                  I didn’t say you were lying about the facts. You just have them wrong.

                  I said/meant you were lying about some point you claimed I was trying to make about Isaacson or Clinton when I never said anything about them. I was only ever challenging what you claimed the relevant facts were (especially since you were making those incorrect statements while chastising others about getting their facts straight). And you still haven’t refuted any of the facts as I stated them. You have a pot-kettle-black problem or a speck-log problem.

                  • Mike Gantt

                    I wasn’t chastising others for not getting their facts straight. I was chastising them for knowingly misrepresenting the facts in order to score political points. If it were merely a case of their being misinformed, I would not be so disappointed in them.

                    I believe that a significant number of people who have decided that the Hobby Lobby decision was wrong have made their decision based on the misrepresentations made to them. That’s why I don’t hold them responsible; rather, I hold responsible those who misled them. Clinton and Isaacson were clearly misleading that audience.

                    As for the peripheral issue of the cost of the abortifacients, all I know is that you have challenged my source. Perhaps you are right, perhaps you are wrong. But you have given me no reason to believe that your facts are superior to mine on that point. I thought about researching it further since you’ve brought it up, but it’s really inconsequential to the matter at hand and not worth the time it would take me to track it all down (straining out gnats while swallowing camels). Even if my source was wrong, I was not intentionally misleading readers. The same cannot be said for Isaacson, Clinton, and the many members of the media who have ample access to multiple sources to find and report all the facts. Hobby Lobby was not given the right to deny contraceptives to anyone, yet mendacity seems to run unchecked.

                    (I hope you are as zealous to correct people on the major issue here as you are to correct me on the minor one.)

                    • Jane Dunn

                      I don’t know how you can decide that a significant portion of the people who oppose the Hobby Lobby decision do so based upon misrepresentations made to them if you fundamentally misunderstand the relevant facts. You were wrong about much more than the cost of the contraceptives to which Hobby Lobby objects. It’s not straining at gnats to point out that the facts you yourself said were the basis for the decision are not as you claimed them to be. It was your characterization of them in the first place that makes them important. I’m not relying on news reports for my information. I have read the parties’ briefs and all of the opinions.

                    • Mike Gantt


                      Since you have read all the parties’ briefs and the opinions, can you verify or correct the reports I’ve read that:

                      1) there are 20 contraceptive drugs/devices specified by ACA to be provided to the employee for free by the employer, and

                      2) that Hobby Lobby’s request for relief only applied to 4 of those drugs/devices, and

                      3) that HL’s request for relief from the requirement to provide those 4 was because of HL’s belief that the 4 in question were abortion-inducing rather than simply conception-preventing.

                      4) that HL’s position can therefore be accurately and fairly described as supportive of providing contraceptives to their female employees but conscience-stricken at the notion of providing abortifacients to them.

                      5) Thus the fundamental issue in HL’s pleadings is not contraception but rather abortion.

                    • Jane Dunn

                      Mike — Glad to see you’ve done some homework.

                      1. Mostly true, but the employers are not “providing” the drugs/devices. That description leaves out the several degrees of separation between the employer and the drug store or health care provider that actually provides the drug/device.

                      2. True

                      3. True

                      4. Half true. Hobby Lobby only objected to the four drugs/devices because it believes they are abortafacient and has no objection to covering the other 16 drugs/devices/procedures, but Hobby Lobby sought to have SCOTUS find the entire contraception mandate in violation of the RFRA (and Conestoga also wanted the Court to reject the contraception mandate under the First Amendment).

                      5. Half true for the same reasons in #4. Also, what’s in Hobby Lobby’s pleadings is not necessarily the limit of what’s in the decision.

                      The accommodation to which the majority (Justice Alito) opinion and Justice Kennedy’s opinion refer allows religious non-profits to opt out of covering all 20 drugs/devices/procedures. It seems likely to me, although it’s obviously not certain until the Court rules again, that the Court will hold that the Hobby Lobby decision will apply to other businesses who object to all 20 methods. The orders issued by the Court in other cases following Hobby Lobby give some support to this conclusion.

                    • Mike Gantt

                      Then the point of Denny’s original post and my comments stand. To wit: Hillary Clinton (and Walter Isaacson) falsely characterized the Hobby Lobby decision as denying contraceptives to women. Had they said that they disagreed with the court providing a remedy for what the Green’s regarded as having to pay for abortifacients, I would merely disagree with them and have no criticism of them. As it is, however, they misled the audience into thinking something that is not true and that they are smart enough and informed enough to know is not true. They are not alone and I have seen mischaracterization along this line repeatedly this week. The “war on women” rhetoric is disinformation worthy of the Politburo.

                      There is room for reasonable debate on public policy issues such as the Hobby Lobby case, but how can the debate ever be reasonable if one’s desire to win the polemic leads to a misrepresentation of the other side’s position?

                      While the idea of ubiquitous and free contraception is troubling to many of us, it’s clear that it was the abortion issue, not the contraception issue, that drove Hobby Lobby to court. It’s why they were granted relief, and it’s why they were considered victorious. For Clinton, Isaacson, and other informed opponents of the decision to characterize it otherwise is mendacious.

                    • Jane Dunn

                      SCOTUS did not limit its holding to only the 4 methods to which Hobby Lobby objected. In fact they pointed to the accommodation given to religious non-profits, which was for up to all 20 of the methods, as being an alternative means of achieving the government’s goal. Thus, it’s not “mendacious” for Clinton to have spoken of the result being women being denied access to birth control through their employer’s health plan.

                    • Mike Gantt

                      He is my Lord and Savior.

                      That you say the same leaves me quite perplexed as to why you seem to come quickly to the defense of those who support abortion and do not defend those who are against abortion.

                    • Jane Dunn

                      That you say the same leaves me quite perplexed as to why you come to the defense of those who fail to tell the truth and do not defend those who tell the truth.

  • James Harold Thomas

    Just once I’d love to hear an atheist politician or CEO promise “I will not let my atheism influence my actions or decisions.”

    • Ian Shaw

      For that to happen, they’d have to conceed that atheism operates as a religious belief (as it is a belief system, but under the guise of intellectual superiority, they’ll never conceed that. (they meaning politician or CEO, not general public)

  • Brett Cody

    Has anyone else noticed that supporters of the HHS Mandate are not using the term “abortifacient”? Call it what it is–Hobby Lobby did not want to give women money to aid them in killing unborn children. Period!

    • James Stanton

      Brett, it’s the possibility that these four drugs could cause an abortion that makes them abortifacients. There is plenty of argument and debate over whether they should or should not be consider as such. However, it’s hard to argue with the warning label posted by the FDA on some of these drugs.

      • Jane Dunn

        James — Based on the newest science, the labels for the European versions of Plan B and Ella have been changed. Our FDA just hasn’t caught up yet.

        • Ian Shaw

          And we want to have everything just like they do in Europe because things are so progressively grand and perfect over there. Just like burning murdered babies in a hospital incinerator.

          Doesn’t matter about the labels. The science claims that the drugs can act as abortifacients. That’s the bottom line.

          • Jane Dunn

            You mean Europe, where their abortion rates are lower and their teen pregnancy rates are lower, and where everyone has access to healthcare? No, we surely wouldn’t want that now would we.

            No, the science doesn’t claim that at all. I posted what the best available shows. If you don’t want to believe that then that’s your prerogative, but it’s not science.

            • Ian Shaw

              Yes, everything is better in Europe. In fact, the entire score of West Side Story was nearly changed to reflect the longing to live in Europe.

              What are the tax rates in Europe compared to here? Do you want to live in England where there are security cameras on every street signal? I won’t even bring up warm beer.

              • Jane Dunn

                Ah. Glad to know that lower taxes and cold beer are more important than fewer abortions and access to healthcare for the poor. It’s always good to see such positions stated so starkly.

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