BILL MOYERS: Welcome. In the 40-plus years since the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion with its Roe v. Wade decision, conservatives and the religious right have crusaded to overturn it, sometimes peacefully, sometimes not.

NEWS ANNOUNCER: Now in 1994, the violence reaches an all-time high.

BILL MOYERS: Thanks to a sustained legal strategy in particular, which includes achieving a Supreme Court majority of five conservative Catholic men, all appointed by Republican presidents, they have been inching toward success. This session alone, the court limited health insurance coverage for contraception and made it easier for protesters to demonstrate outside abortion clinics.

Meanwhile, several states have already passed regulations that effectively restrict access to safe, legal clinics. More than half the American women of reproductive age now live in states hostile to abortion access. Let me repeat that: more than half the women of reproductive age now live in states hostile to their constitutional right.

In Washington, Senate Democrats have introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act to counter those state and local restrictions on reproductive freedom. At a hearing this week voices were heard both for and against the bill:

NANCY NORTHRUP: This is the newest tactic in a four decade campaign to deprive women of the promise of Roe v. Wade. There have been, during those four decades, terrorizing physical attacks, clinics bombed, vandalized and torched, doctors and clinic workers murdered, and clinics blockaded. […] Today, women’s access to abortion services is being blocked through an avalanche of pretextual laws that are designed to accomplish by the pen what could not be accomplished through brute force: the closure of facilities providing essential reproductive healthcare to women of this country. At an alarming rate, states are passing laws that single out reproductive health providers for excessively burdensome regulations designed to regulate them out of practice under the false pretense of health and safety.

TED CRUZ: The legislation this committee is considering is extreme legislation. It is legislation designed to eliminate reasonable restrictions on abortion that states across this country have put in place. […] And it is also a very real manifestation of a war on women given the enormous health consequences that unlimited abortion has had damaging the health, and sometimes even the lives of women.

BILL MOYERS: We’ll talk about these and other developments now with Cecile Richards. Since she became president of the Planned Parenthood Federation in 2006, the number of its supporters has doubled to seven million. Before her current position, she organized low-wage workers in the hotel and health care fields in California, and founded the Texas Freedom Network to champion civil liberties and religious freedom in her native state. She also served as deputy chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the House. Cecile Richards, welcome.

CECILE RICHARDS: Thanks for having me.

BILL MOYERS: An impartial observer looking on could reasonably conclude that you're losing the political battle over abortion.

CECILE RICHARDS: I actually don't think that's correct. Now, I will say that in 2010 the elections where frankly the Tea Party swept into the US House of Representatives and took over state legislatures and they have had a very clear agenda which is to roll back women's access. But whenever these issues are actually on the ballot, whether in a candidate, or even, I'll just give you an example.

The state of Mississippi where, you know, the far right tried to push the legislature, pushed a bill that would've outlawed abortion in that state. The voters of Mississippi, not a progressive state I don't think we'd say, they overwhelmingly, rejected that.

BILL MOYERS: Yet 14 years ago a third of women of reproductive age lived in states considered hostile to abortion access. Now more than half do. Why is that not losing?

CECILE RICHARDS: I don’t think it’s the states, I think it’s the state legislatures. I do think the state legislatures have moved dramatically to the right, and not just on women's issues, on a whole, on voting rights issues, on a whole host of issues.

Unfortunately, a wing of the Republican Party, the most extreme wing that believes abortion should not be legal, that believes birth control should not be available are really in charge of the primary process.

BILL MOYERS: Is it conceivable to you that your opponents have won the moral argument, that is they've convinced enough people in conservative circles that abortion is morally wrong, leaving politicians that you talk about no choice but to go where the voters lead?

CECILE RICHARDS: I fundamentally disagree with that. People, look, and we at Planned Parenthood talk to voters a lot, talk to the public a lot. People in this country believe that abortion is a very personal and often complex issue. They overwhelmingly believe, though, again that these are personal, private decisions that women have to be able to make with their doctors, with their family, with their loved ones.

And that the last thing they want is politicians making the most personal decisions for a family, that is, again, that crosses party line, that crosses gender, age. And young people in this country can't imagine going back to a time where abortion was illegal and not available.

BILL MOYERS: You put your finger on the paradox. Surveys show the majority of Americans believe a woman and her doctor, not politicians, should be making these decisions. 68 percent of young Americans believe abortion services should be available where they live. Why doesn't that translate into political success?

CECILE RICHARDS: I think it does. And I'll give you a couple of examples, but we have a long way to go. I give you that. I, the last presidential election to me was quite interesting. I mean, that was by all, you know, was going to be a very close election by all accounts. But we had two candidates, you know, Mitt Romney who said he wanted to overturn Roe, that he wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood, President Obama who strongly supported women's rights.

We had the biggest gender gap ever in polling in a presidential election. And we just saw this in the Virginia governor's race. Fascinating. You know, a race that I think folks thought was going to be very, very tough. Where you had two candidates. Terry McAuliffe, who supported women's access to birth control, Planned Parenthood.

Ken Cuccinelli, the sitting attorney general, who opposed basically all of women's rights. That, I would say that election was decided by women, you know? There was a nine point gender gap for Terry McAuliffe. He won that race by about two and a half points. So it's when women know what's at stake and they go out to vote, they can determine pretty much any election in the country.

BILL MOYERS: So given that, how do you explain that in our home state. Governor Rick Perry said that he intends to make abortion, “a thing of the past.” He's succeeding there.

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, actually I disagree. He's not making abortion a thing of the past. He's making safe and legal abortion a thing of the past. And I think this is what's very distressing and is that what, of course, the impact of these regulations are disproportionately felt on low income women, on women who are, live in rural areas of the state.

We're having women now go across the border to Mexico because they can't access legal abortion in the state of Texas. So again, you know, our goal at Planned Parenthood is to make abortion safe and legal and to help women get preventive care that they need to reduce unintended pregnancy in the first place. Unfortunately Governor Perry is doing away with all of that.

When the governor and the legislature started going after women's health care in the state, ending the women's health program, dozens of health centers that didn't provide abortion services had to shut down because they served low income women and they didn't have the funds to continue.

BILL MOYERS: There was a story out of Houston the other day that there's now an underground railroad for women seeking abortion services.

CECILE RICHARDS: Absolutely, I think what we're seeing is pre-Roe activities now of women trying to figure out how to get around the country because there are increasingly states where you may have a legal right to an abortion, but effectively you have no access. In Texas it's really in some ways the test case for all of these restrictions. We're going to, I think, this fall by September when all of these regulations come into effect, we'll see in a state as large as, that's as large as the country of France there'll be seven, probably seven health centers left in the state of Texas where women can access a safe and legal abortion.

BILL MOYERS: Down from what?

CECILE RICHARDS: Oh dozens. But I think the thing that's important, Bill, is that it's far beyond that. Because the impact is certainly on the ability to access abortion services, but it also has been devastating on women's ability to even access family planning and basic preventive care.

BILL MOYERS: I hear you saying and you and others that the constitutional right expressed in Roe v. Wade has hit the hard rock of political reality. Is Roe being rendered null and void by politics?

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, we're seeing some states, yes, where I believe the state legislatures are hollowing out the rights under Roe in every conceivable way. I think this court as well is, has been more sympathetic to those efforts to undermine women's access. Again, not only to safe and legal abortion, but certainly to birth control as well. And that's very worrisome.

BILL MOYERS: Do you really think that Women's Health Protection Act that was debated this week could undo some of the damage being caused by this onslaught of regulations?

CECILE RICHARDS: Absolutely. And I think it's so important. Essentially what the Women's Health Protection Act does is says you have to treat women's reproductive health care and abortion access like you do all other medical procedures, really to try to stem the tide of these extreme bills that are being passed that are created enormous barriers for women to just access basic legal rights.

BILL MOYERS: You heard Senator Cruz call it extreme legislation. He says the state restrictions on abortions are, and I'm quoting him, "reasonable,” and are intended to protect the health and safety of women. He also says it's people like you and your allies who are waging this war on women by supporting unlimited abortion that has sometimes cost women their lives.

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I just, I don't even know where to start. It is ironic that he comes from the state of Texas where the restrictions upon women's ability to access again preventive care, family planning, safe and legal abortion have never been worse.

What we're seeing in Texas is as radical as any state in the country in terms of eliminating women's ability to plan their families. And, you know, I would also say to Senator Cruz it's really important to recognize this is not a partisan issue for women.

Women, 99 percent of women in this country use family planning, okay. So that's a news flash, I think something he ought to look at.

98 percent of Catholic women have used family planning at some point. So for women, birth control is not a moral issue. It's not a social issue. It is a basic healthcare issue. It's an economic issue.

And women, men, the majority of this country supports Roe, they support women being able to make their own decisions about their pregnancies. And they, I can absolutely guarantee what they don't want is politicians making the most personal, private decisions that women and their families make.

BILL MOYERS: What is your response to what some of your opponents say that abortion is vastly different from other procedures and therefore needs higher medical standards? Is there any merit in that argument?

CECILE RICHARDS: Absolutely none. I mean, again, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the country. And so it is, this is, and I think it, look, it's something I think we have to talk about is that it is, this is something that has, one of the most incredible things that I think that has happened since the Roe decision, and I talk to doctors who were around pre-Roe who said, you know, routinely young healthy women were dying in emergency rooms across this country simply because they had no access to terminate a pregnancy in a medical setting.

So, look, we've have had politicians admit it. You know, they say that they're for women's health and safety, but they're not. They simply want to close down access to abortion services and as Governor Perry said, make abortion in his words, "a thing of the past."

BILL MOYERS: If the services continue to be closed down as is happening in Texas, why can't hospitals start taking up the slack? Couldn't they offer patients considerably more privacy, for example, than these health centers where there are protestors outside confronting the women?

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I mean, look, I'm very grateful to hospitals that do provide abortion services. And I would hope more of them would be. I mean, as you know, many of the hospitals in this country now are owned by the Catholic Church or have Catholic affiliation. They not only will not provide abortion services, they will not provide a whole host of reproductive healthcare.

And so there has to be in this country a public health care system that will ensure that women can get access to the care that they need regardless of religion. And that is becoming increasingly a problem. And not only, it's a problem in Texas, it's a problem across the country.

BILL MOYERS: Let me ask you this, this Hobby Lobby decision gives the owner of a business on religious grounds, the power to deny coverage of birth control to--


BILL MOYERS: --his employees. Saying in effect, that the religious beliefs of the owner triumph over the preventive health needs for women workers. Capital has religious rights, labor doesn't. Where's this going to take us?

CECILE RICHARDS: I don't know. I mean, look, this is, this decision, which I know some people have described has narrow, is very troublesome. I mean, I think certainly Justice Ginsberg dissent is correct. This is full of minefields. I was actually there for the Hobby Lobby argument, and it was stunning to see the lack of regard for women.

But from that decision, and other decisions that have, that, you know, certainly had the buffer zone decision, you know, it's better to be a corporation today than to be a woman in front of the Supreme Court. And I think that the Hobby Lobby decision is just the beginning of giving corporations free license to obey those rules and laws that they agree with and not ones that they don't agree with.

BILL MOYERS: Giving the owners--


BILL MOYERS: --or the managers and share--

CECILE RICHARDS: The CEOs, that's right.


CECILE RICHARDS: That's correct--

BILL MOYERS: They will be calling the shots more often?

CECILE RICHARDS: That's exactly right. How could the rights of one CEO, you know, or the beliefs, the religious beliefs of one CEO and his family trump the right of thousands of women to make their own decision? Nothing about the Affordable Care Act requires women to use birth control.

But as we're already seeing, millions of women are already benefiting from being able to make that decision themselves. To make their own choice about what kind of birth control they'd like to use, if they want to use it, and to get it paid for and to help plan their families.

BILL MOYERS: Aren't those owners saying, well, we can't provide it because of our religious objections. But they can get it from the government.

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I mean, you look at this decision as if somehow that we're going to just throw everything back to this Congress to fix? I just think it is, I mean, it's not even laughable because, of course, the future and the healthcare of millions of women are at stake.

But I-- that's where I feel like the Supreme Court completely overstepped their bounds, which is this is a law. This is a law that was passed by Congress, that is, that has now been in effect. Millions of women are accessing birth control.

This is really opening the door to saying to employers, if you, or CEOs, you know, if you have a religious objection to this or anything else, I mean, with you, it's a slippery slope here, that you can actually, you know, we'll let the government try to figure out what to do about it.

BILL MOYERS: Have we opened another stage in the old debate in this country over religious liberties?

CECILE RICHARDS: I absolutely think so, I mean, we believe in religious liberties, but not the right of, to use your religion and enforce your religion, your religious beliefs on someone else.

BILL MOYERS: So why do you think Hobby Lobby erupted in the public awareness? What was it about that decision that caught the public imagination?

CECILE RICHARDS: Some folks aren't necessarily following the day to day like you and I do perhaps on all these issues. And when they heard that the Supreme Court had said that there were women who couldn't get birth control from their employer, I think people were just in shock. Really, disbelief, that somehow it's 2014 and we are still arguing about women being able to access birth control? It just doesn't make sense. Again, you have every woman in the country virtually using it. They don't see this as a controversial issue.

BILL MOYERS: What do you think will come from the court's junking of the 35-foot buffer zone?

CECILE RICHARDS: Well, we're already seeing in Massachusetts that absolutely, immediately after that decision eliminating the buffer zone we had record numbers of protesters outside of the following women all the way up to the door of our health center in Massachusetts. These are not all kindly, elderly ladies simply whispering in the ears.

And even if they were, it is the right of women in this country to be able to access healthcare that they need without harassment and without the advice of dozens of people outside their health center. I mean, can you imagine if, you know, if men in this country, before going into their doctor had to walk through a gauntlet of protesters telling them, you know, whether it's not to get a colonoscopy or just go down the list. It's incredible.

I think now we'll see challenges to buffer zones across the country. And look, I, it's hard not to escape the irony of the enormous buffer zone that the Supreme Court enjoys in front of their court. And why we can't afford that same right to women who are simply trying to access healthcare, I just don't understand.

BILL MOYERS: Did you ever see that HBO documentary the “Soldiers in the Army of God”? Here's some scenes from it.

PAUL HILL in Soldiers in the Army of God: Abortionists are murderers! Murderers should be executed!

I definitely felt that the Lord wanted me to shoot the abortionists.

BOB LOKEY in Soldiers in the Army of God: We need a civil war that will kill a whole lot of people.

NEWS REPORTER in Soldiers in the Army of God: Investigators say evidence places Rudolph at the bombing. They aren’t sure whether others may be involved.

REGINA DINWIDDIE in Soldiers in the Army of God: I hate to quote Chairman Mao, but he was right: kill one, scare a thousand.

NEWS REPORTER in Soldiers in the Army of God: Dr. John Britton and clinic volunteer Jim Barrett lay dead. Police arrested Paul Hill a half block away.

BILL MOYERS: Most people who oppose abortion wouldn't advocate that kind of violence. But how do you explain the passion that enters into this debate?

CECILE RICHARDS: Well look, I think this is always going to be a topic where people have strong personal feelings. But I do believe the rhetoric that is now, that is sort of tolerated, and frankly that we hear from elected officials oftentimes does encourage people to sort of put women in a certain place, certainly doctors in a certain place.

And, you know, it's very tough to watch this footage. But I think it's important because, of course, this is why the Massachusetts buffer zone was passed in the first place. This was not simply an intellectual idea, it was because women and doctors and clinicians were under enormous personal safety risks. And--

BILL MOYERS: The two people were murdered there.

CECILE RICHARDS: That's correct. And listen, in my eight years at Planned Parenthood, the toughest day was on a Sunday morning when I got a call that George Tiller in Kansas had been shot in his church. And amazingly courageous man who had cared for women in a, the most selfless and, again, always at risk for his own safety. We can't go back to those days. And that's where when you ask me where is this country, that's not where this country wants to go. And we're not going to.

BILL MOYERS: Have you received any death threats?

CECILE RICHARDS: I try not to read everything that comes in over the transom. And the folks I really, I think when I get up in the morning, I don't fear for myself. But I take very seriously the safety of our doctors and our clinicians and our patients. And that's foremost in my mind all the time.

BILL MOYERS: Is there a war on women? Or has that become a convenient metaphor?

CECILE RICHARDS: It's not a term I use. But in some ways, if the shoe fits, you know, I feel like I don't like to think there's a war on women. But the evidence is that there is certainly within some, certainly some elements of the Republican party, and unfortunately a lot of the leadership, and a lot of politicians in this country, folks who are uncomfortable, I believe, with women being equal in America.

And, I mean, it's why we can't seem to pass, you know, we can't pass an equal pay bill, we can't, we don't want to have women access to reproductive healthcare. And I just don't think young people in this country are going to let them get away with it. And that's what, you know, that's my hope, is that it's our kids and their generation that aren't going to go back to a day when women were second-class citizens in America.

BILL MOYERS: Cecile Richards, thank you very much for being with me.

CECILE RICHARDS: It's so good to see you, Bill. Thanks for having me.

BILL MOYERS: At our website,, there’s some essential reading on what we’ve just talked about, and a look at how the states and this year’s candidates are handling the issue of reproductive freedom.

That’s all at I’ll see you there and I’ll see you here, next time.

The Crusade Against Reproductive Rights

July 18, 2014

Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion, was issued 41 years ago. Despite consistent public opinion to the contrary, conservatives and the religious right have patiently and relentlessly campaigned against it for decades. And recently, their efforts are finding some success. Two major rulings by the Supreme Court this last session limited health insurance coverage for contraception and gave protesters increased rights to demonstrate outside abortion clinics. Several states — especially in the South — in the name, legislators say, of women’s health, have passed regulations that creatively use technicalities to force clinics to close.

Bill Moyers talks about the politics of reproductive freedom with Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. For nearly a century, Planned Parenthood has been the leading advocate for reproductive health care in the United States, with 69 affiliates nationwide, operating more than 700 health centers.

“It’s better to be a corporation today than to be a woman in front of the Supreme Court,” Richards tells Bill. “I think that the Hobby Lobby decision is just the beginning of giving corporations free license to obey those rules and laws that they agree with, and not ones that they don’t.”

Richards has been an organizer of low-wage janitors, hotel and health care workers, the founder of the Texas Freedom Network, which defends civil liberties and religious freedom in her native state, and a deputy chief of staff to the Democratic leader in the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Producer: Candace White. Segment Producer: Robert Booth. Editor: Donna Marino.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company.

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  • Anonymous

    Abortion on demand any damned time a woman wants one.
    Abortion and birth control covered fully by insurance whether it be offered by the state, employer or a corporation.
    Fight Christian Sharia.

  • Krish

    Would you allow another to take your TV from inside your home? Exactly! My eggs, my body…
    and when you are invited into my home to watch my TV…. you don’t take it when you leave! Even if you bring a gift and leave that gift… it is still my home and my TV. If I gift you my TV, if I loan you my TV, if we share my TV that will be agreed upon and clear with the person I have the agreement with…. no one else! My eggs, my body, my child…. THE OWNER of the EGGS CHOICE!!! Got it!!!

  • Dbom


    Good Stuff.

    You guys love your abortions! Keep up the great work.

    BTW, the Supreme Court bars EVERYONE with their 200′ bufferzone.

    The Unconstitutional Mass law only banned CERTAIN people on a public sidewalk. And you can’t do that…

    That’s the difference you sillyheads!

  • Dbom

    Wow, you guys must be fun at parties…

    Anywhoo…maybe your eggs, your body but who owns the sperm?

    And when does he get those back from you Thief!

  • Invasive Evasion

    Cecile Richards has my respect for fighting an important, difficult, frustrating, and dangerous battle.

    I’m guessing that the same people who feel compelled to protect the zygote/embryo/fetus are also spewing hatred at the refugee children on the border. Whether a child gets an education or has any possibility of a decent life seems also to not matter. They also show no concern for innocent people on death row. Mass murder as collateral damage during a military campaign is seen as perfectly acceptable.

    I’ve never understood this inconsistency between fanatical concern for an ambiguous and questionable concept of human life, and the total lack of concern for unambiguous human life. Perhaps there is some religious concept of pre-birth purity that I am missing.

  • Invasive Evasion

    You must realize that a conservative would simply argue that your “TV” is an independent human life, and ceases to be property which you can do with as you see fit.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t sure where to put this comment about what seems like a dangerous move in media which is Rupert Murdoch trying to buy Time Warner. These mergers of prime news outlets is dangerous to our democracy in giving too few people control over the information that citizens are shown. CNN was a real 24 hour news channel until taking over by Time Warner which Murdoch seeks to grab. This should be of great concern to anyone interested in free press and real news.

  • Anonymous

    Independent? Not ’til it’s born ….

    Far more intimate than “property” ….

  • Anonymous

    Quite simply – this is a battle over who has the right to control a woman’s body – the woman herself or “society at large”. As i have said before, if God intended the latter, (S)He would have made us egg layers …

  • Anonymous

    I have heard it said that you can’t really be “pro-life” if you don’t care about kids after they are born …

  • Melwoolf

    Here you are again, Invasive Evasion. Love what you say. Run for office! I so agree with you re the concern for the unborn (and all the good Christian/Catholics whatever) vs. the lack of concern for the poor babies/children brought into the world due to lack of birth control/healthcare that every woman in a “civilized” country should have. But we are now talking about crazy land and what we have become. Will be joining Planned Parenthood from abroad. I am SOOO angry about this!

  • Sandy Lorvig Mathews

    This comment doesn’t go here…find another soap box!!

  • Sandy Lorvig Mathews

    The majority of women are in favor of birth control rights, but are often embarrassed or ashamed to verbalize it.

  • JonThomas

    Dear Moderator… Is the topic of this discussion a word that is on the ‘needs Moderator approval’ list? If it is, perhaps you have temporary control of that particular setting?

  • JonThomas

    I think there is a lot of ideological assumptions being made on all sides of this issue.

    Generally speaking, it is true that many Republican Candidates, and the Republican Party in general, does have a ‘pro-life’ (a term used specifically for wanting abortion to be considered a form of murder,) platform, and vice-versa for the Democrat Party, but since it is such a personal issue, painting with broad ‘Conservative’ or ‘Liberal brushes confuses the issue.

    Some ‘Conservatives’ are so in economic issues only, and some ‘Liberals’ are so only on issues concerning lifestyle choices.

    Therefore, it may be best to isolate the terminology to those who are, legally speaking, Pro- or Anti- Abortion… and similarly… lifestyle preference speaking, Pro- or Anti- Abortion. I’m not hung up on the terms, really if anyone could find more acceptable ‘labels’, then that is fine. However, broadly generalizing the issue along party lines, or even by political ideology, really does a disservice to earnest discourse on the subject.

  • JonThomas

    Ok, well that posted… weird. I wonder if it was where I posted that made the difference.

  • Anonymous

    I am on your side :)

  • Anonymous

    4. Hobby Lobby employees still have contraceptive options— just not all of them.

    Hobby Lobby stated from the beginning that it isn’t against all forms of birth control, just certain ones such as Plan B, Ella and intrauterine devices. Hobby Lobby does provide insurance coverage for 16 other forms of birth control, including pills that prevent ovulation. The company states it will continue to provide these types of birth control to employees.

    Where abortion is legal a person can pay for it themselves. I don’t want to pay for abortion as a taxpayer. There is a sad thought that abortion is used as a contraceptive.

    Don’t work for Hobby Lobby…or better still, use the preventive measures.

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  • Invasive Evasion

    That’s an invalid argument because:

    1. The remaining forms of contraception do not have the same functionality as the forms which were eliminated (which is why the Green family opposed them in the first place).
    2. Arguing that there is a practical way to bypass the effects of a court decision is not a defense of the principles used to make that decision.
    3. These forms of contraception do not cause abortions, so the factual basis of the objection is false.
    4. Employees pay for their own insurance, either directly, or indirectly in that the corporate funds used to pay for it come from their labor. Employees have as much of a right, if not more of a right to make decisions about their own insurance.
    5. CEOs have a right to control employees’ behavior only as it relates to performing their job. A CEO does not have the right to impose his religious beliefs on the medical choices of employees.
    6. The fact that employees have the ability to not work at a corporation doesn’t justify the immoral policies of that corporation. Exploitation or abuse of people is not justified by the willingness of the people being abused or exploited. (As a practical matter of survival, most people do not have the ability to reject employment, no matter how unfair the conditions of that employment are.)
    7. Employment does not strip a person of their constitutional rights and transfer them to the CEO.
    8. A corporation is not a person, but an organization composed of many people. The Green family already had the same rights to live their personal lives according to their religious beliefs. A person is not entitled to a second set of constitutional rights because he runs a corporation. This is like arguing that a CEO should be allowed to vote once as an individual, and then go back into the booth and vote a second time as a corporate entity.
    9. The corporate “veil” separates the accountability and liability of the “corporation” from the person running it. If the CEO can pierce that veil by saying that the corporation is an extension of his personal identity, then it should be pierced in the opposite direction by making him personally accountable and liable for the actions of the corporation.
    10. Religion is not an a la carte menu of excuses in which a person gets to pick and choose which laws he wishes to follow. The Green family has no problem violating Christian values when it suits their self interest. The Bible says things like:
    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” It also says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
    Since the Green family has no problem violating these Christian values in enriching themselves with a for-profit corporation, arguing that contraception is horrific violation of their beliefs is arbitrary and hypocritical.
    11. A belief in magic does not justify breaking the law.
    12. A belief in one particular type of magic does does not deserve more consideration than any other magical belief system. A Christian objection deserves no more consideration than any other religious objection, or a belief in invisible garden gnomes.
    13. A moral objection based on a belief in magic does not have more validity than a moral objection based on a rational framework of universal principles. Non-magical non-religious moral objections deserve equal (and I would argue greater) consideration.
    14. The Supreme Court is supposed to identify universal principles and apply them consistently. The five right wingers acknowledged that the principles they are applying to this specific case cannot be applied universally. They are making an ad hoc decision based on personal Catholic beliefs. This is a betrayal of the the duties of their office, and an abuse of power. The powers granted to these people are supposed to be used for good of the nation, not as a personal ideological tool of control.

  • Invasive Evasion

    I can think of at least three reasons to explain that.

    In some cases elections are about single issues, but in most cases people vote based on an overall ideology, not any single issue.

    Many people don’t vote at all, either because they don’t care enough (the young people who are pro-choice), or because they believe (correctly) the system to be corrupt and refuse to participate.

    The republicans have made gerrymandering a core component of their election strategy. In many states it takes 5 or 7 democratic votes to offset one republican vote. The republicans control the House not because they got more votes, but because they rigged the districts. Gerrymanding is a real form of election fraud, as opposed to the fictional kind (voter ID) that republicans constantly use as a justification for making it harder for democrats to vote.

  • Invasive Evasion

    “Dependent yet separate” would have been a more accurate choice of words. The larger point stands however.

  • Invasive Evasion

    I share your anger, not just on this issue, but on the right wing agenda generally. Contraception and abortion should be basic reproductive rights.

  • NotARedneck

    The clips of the anti abortion hypocrites is really quite revealing. Anyone who wonders how slick right wing criminal trash (on the take from the corporate world) like Ted Cruz can bamboozle so many voters must look again at these drooling cretins.

    Additionally, is it any wonder that 99% of domestic terrorism, throughout US history, is from the extreme right?

  • NotARedneck

    What you need to understand is that the RepubliCONs frame every issue so that it will appeal to their captive imbecile base. In most cases, they know that there is little that they “can do for them” since basic human rights are usually protected, even by the criminal supreme Court majority of 5 completely partisan members. However, cretins don’t see this and are easily swayed by talking points and excuses.

  • Anonymous

    Why would they be embarrassed or ashamed of it? Probably more like scared if they personally know these hothead idiots who think like Ted Cruz.

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  • Anonymous

    You are assuming that “Rep districts” vote straight Rep – that might be a fair assumption, but 1) i would like to see a comparison about how folks feel on individual issues v who they vote for – i think there is a discrepancy ala “What’s the Matter with Kansas” and that is what I would like to see discussed 2) are there no such things as pro choice Reps?

    Not voting at all – now that is the crux – i think perhaps convincing folks to not bother to vote is far more destructive of our democracy than even gerrymandering – are there problems with the system? Yup – but, IMO, they won’t be fixed by refusing to participate – all that does is leave the field to TPTB. Pick 3rd parties – that “can’t win” meme is a deliberate attempt to sabotage them and is baloney – anybody on a ballot can win with enough votes …..

  • Anonymous

    Nope – hardly “separate” …
    Parts of folks bodies should not be considered “property”, IMO –

  • Betty Eyer

    Invasive Evasion did a nice job of answering but missed one important point. The 4 forms of birth control that they objected to have pretty much nothing to do with the ruling itself. Note that all 5 of the men voting for the ruling are Catholic and the Catholic church objects to ALL birth control except abstinence and rhythm.

    The ruling clearly allows a closely held corporation (not just Hobby Lobby, but any of them) to refuse to cover any and all forms of birth control if they have strongly held beliefs against them. So the argument that this can be solved just by “not working for Hobby Lobby…or better still, use the preventive (sic) measures” is a false solution because it ignores the facts of the matter. It’s a way of getting people to talk about abortion and whether or not those 4 types are or are not throwing away fertilized eggs rather than facing the fact that this is a direct attack on any and all birth control, it’s favoring corporations over the health of their employees and it’s discriminatory against women.

  • k Arnold

    Pay for your OWN BC

    If you have to abort and can live with i, t This service should be available EVERYWHERE on a sliding scale payment wise.

    Stop legislating SHOTGUN STYLE every case is different and EVERYONE should have their choice…BUT I am NOT paying for your CHOICE! You will have to be responsible,,,,,

  • Anonymous

    Since Roe v Wade over 15 MILLION black babies have been aborted. The population of blacks in this country today is only 31 million. Someone said…unfortunately..the most dangerous place for a black baby is in the womb.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Moyers..I hope you will do some research on Planned Parenthood before you have a spokesperson for that organization on your program. Margaret Sanger, it’s founder was an unapologetic racist. Planned Parenthood seems to continue her agenda. Although the black population is less than 10 %, it has been reported over 25% abortions were preformed on black women. The most dangerous place for a black baby is in the womb.

  • Jane

    They don’t want to be ‘slut shamed’ which is what happens to those who speak out.

  • MikeD

    In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court found Obamacare constitutional and the reasoning behind the swing vote of the Chief Justice had everyone scratching their heads including the other Justices.

    Instead of being overturned it is, instead, being picked apart, piece by piece, by that very Court. We now see
    the results of a Bill that was fundamentally flawed, that should have been based on some version of Medicare from the very start.

    Cecile Richards points out the supreme irony of a Bill meant to expand coverage that will now deny it to millions of women.

  • Anonymous

    It’s amazing the fanatical devotion many have for non-human entities like zygotes and profit-maximizing corporations, contrasted with the callous disregard shown to the poor, such as the desperate immigrant children and their mothers.

  • Danielle Hensley

    That’s right. Even saying that you would want to have an abortion is seen as taboo in some communities, especially if people know you are in a relationship. The morning after pill, or Plan B, is also a type of contraception that can be stigmatizing. I think the very fact that it is a personal decision among a couple or family *IS also one part of why some women are not as vocal about wanting all options open to them.

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  • Anonymous

    “…or better still, use the preventive measures.” And those preventive measures, when prescribed by a doctor should be covered by all insurance policies.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know of anyone who is “pro-abortion”. The correct term at this point is pro-choice.

  • Anonymous

    People do express their feelings about Women’s right to choose at the polls. We have elected a President that agrees with that 6 out 7 of the last Presidential elections. The house of representatives is rigged with gerrymandering and does not reflect our feelings.

  • Anonymous

    How many former abortion providers are currently heading the push to change legislation. For those who seek to understand this issue from a provider’s viewpoint, there are quite a few who have broken the silence as to why they’ve moved from staunch pro-choice positions to pro-life.
    It sometimes takes a generation to have a perspective that is based on experience.

  • Patti RL

    Well stated…..I don’t want to pay for either contraceptives or abortions. But, if women who don’t want pregnancies continue to produce children who are destined to be terminated…..Give them contraceptives for free, even!

  • Katie Dotson

    If women that don’t want children or more than they already have would suddenly opt of abstinence, I wonder where men would stand on the subject 6 months from now.
    On the other hand, if impotence were considered to be an act of God and male enhancement drugs were denied, I think the church would begin to see a decline in it’s influence.

  • Nancy Mac

    I couldn’t have stated it better.

  • Xrucianus

    Mercy, our culture has been led into a mind-numbing catatonia re this issue. Sorry Bill, “Reproductive rights” isn’t merely a euphemism; it’s a blatant falsification.
    What legislators are attempting to curb men & womens’ right to reproduce? The issue is, once you “have” reproduced, what is ethical treatment of that life?