Biased Poll in Oklahoma Used to Justify Hobby Lobby Suit Against Contraception Mandate


The lawsuit by Oklahoma-based retailer and corporation Hobby Lobby is the largest non-Catholic based suit against the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit over the definition of a religious organization. Locally, those who oppose the mandate are drumming up support for their side. The latest proof that the public is on their side? A very skewed poll showing that “most Oklahomans oppose the health care mandate.”

According to the poll, 57 percent of those questioned opposed the mandate, with only 33 percent supporting it and 10 percent undecided. However the poll, which was conducted with only 305 respondents, also included a high margin of error and a rather biased polling question.

“In September, locally owned Hobby Lobby Stores sued the federal government over a new mandate in the Affordable Care Act, or otherwise known as Obamacare, that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill, known as Plan B and Ella. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the drugs can stop a fertilized egg from implanting into the wall of a woman’s uterus, thereby preventing a potential pregnancy.

“Hobby Lobby’s stance on the pills falls in line with its evangelical Christian beliefs of its founder and family, declaring that the mandate violates their rights to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.

“Do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE this new mandate in the Affordable Care Act that includes free access to the morning-after and week-after pill?”

The poll question disregards the rest of the contraception being covered by the mandate, reinforces a conservative religious stance on the requirement, and pushes outdated science as to how the emergency contraceptive protocols are believed to work. Even with all of that, only 57 percent of respondents oppose the mandate, with a margin of error of almost 6 percent.

Many other polls show vastly different results. According to a recent survey conducted by Catholics for Choice and the American Civil Liberties Union, for example, 81 percent of agree that “the law should not allow companies or other institutions to use religious beliefs to decide whether to offer a service to some people and not others.” Included in those services are all forms of contraception.

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  • okparent

    Robin Marty, I don’t know what credentials you may have, but I was unimpressed to find your opinion article running my Google News “hobby” ticker. Back in college, we were taught to provide facts to back up claims. We are all entitled to our opinion, but that gives us a burden to research our claims when we present them as truth.

     

    You state that Hobby Lobby presented a “biased polling question”. Indeed, they were overtly religious in their poll in order to make clear the religious intent of their quest. It is clear that this provides anyone asked the opportunity to decline to answer if they wish not to participate in a religious poll.  Hardly misleading. Instead, it is the opposite.

     

    The poll cited an FDA-based summary of two specific birth control methods. You claim this information is outdated. Where is your scientific updated information? I think most educated people are not satisfied with undirected claims, but want something they can research and weigh for themselves. The FDA is a trusted resource, with scientists of their own, and one might also refer to the drug companies themselves for their claims about how their medications work.

     

    The poll done by Hobby Lobby referred to Plan B and Ella specifically because the company is not opposing any other types of birth control in the government mandate, also known as “Obamacare.” I am sure you know already that a number of people believe that Hobby Lobby is against providing birth control. This is not the case. Hobby Lobby disregards the other forms of birth control in their question because those are not at question. However, in order to remove Plan B and Ella from being required in the mandate, the entire mandate would have to be re-issued in an altered form.

     

    This poll of course reinforces a conservative, religious stance, unapologetically, just as your opinion piece (and website on the whole) reinforce a religion-free, liberal stance unapologetically. Certainly you do not believe that liberals are the only Americans who are due free speech.

     

    You quoted a poll, stating that 81% polled agree “the law should not allow companies or other institutions to use religious beliefs to decide whether to offer a service to some people and not others.” I agree! No one should be able to use any non-medical excuse to offer a service to some people and not others. That is, however, not the question with Hobby Lobby. They are not proposing to offer a single thing to any party but not offer it to any other partyRather, they propose to offer covered birth control to anyone who needs it, but not include Plan B and Ella as options. Might I point out that regardless of what birth control any corporation may or may not offer, it would seem that you would be directing women to Planned Parenthood for those excluded methods if that is what the women decide to use. Even in rural areas, access to transportation for health care is widely available for those women who need it.

     

    A well-designed article should make clear that you are stating your opinion. It gives further moral validity to your statements and position.

     

    As an aside, I would hazard a guess that you are unmarried and in your twenties.

     

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “you are unmarried and in your twenties”

    Disinfo troll, check out mother Marty’s personal experience here:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/09/08/today-i-found-out-i-was-no-longer-woman

  • okparent

    Fascinating! And that is not sarcastic. Maybe “Give em hell Mary” failed to note that being in your twenties and/or unmarried are not insults to life, but marks of immaturity. I also clearly stated I was guessing. Rather, after actually reading Ms Marty’s bio, it is clear she is extremely disinfranchised by extremist right-wing “liberals.” I give them that title because, like the left, each group has their extreme factions. Haters who thrive on emotion rather than reality, who seek out misinformation to back their self-righteous goals.

     

    Surely you folks understand that those people no more define Christianity than you define the Democratic party. I certainly hope my relationship with my spouse will never be defined by some attempt, desperate or otherwise, to create children. I don’t know anyone personally who thinks that is my purpose in life, though I am well aware that some groups push this on women (ie Catholic or Mormon). My circles just don’t involve many extremist conservatives.

     

    To Ms Marty, it is more than understandable that you would work hard to dispell myths forced onto women about what makes them valuable. Childbearing no more makes us women or valuable than having a high-paying job makes a man valuable. Being alive is enough to give you great worth. I may disagree with your claims all day long, but never with your worth.

     

    To “Give em hell Mary”: I am neither troll nor disinfo inclined. The point of my previous comment is to show the need for factual basis in writing. Especially for those who hold the attention of an audience, potentially large. I cannot help notice you missed the point. Your brief comment carries much anger. Don’t waste your time being angry. It leads you to lose focus. Even high school debaters learn early that the calm guy/girl is typically perceived as the winner of debates, because angry people scatter thoughts and forget their purpose. If you are aiming for a purposeful goal, shoot higher.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “‘Mary’ failed to note that being in your twenties and/or unmarried are not insults to life, but marks of immaturity.” …

    I didn’t insult the author! — YOU did, over and over again!  You mistakenly assumed she was another still single child-free Sandra Fluke whom I’ll bet you also hate.

    “Rather, after actually reading Ms Marty’s bio, it is clear she is extremely disinfranchised by extremist right-wing ‘liberals.’ I give them that title because, like the left, each group has their extreme factions. Haters who thrive on emotion rather than reality, who seek out misinformation to back their self-righteous goals.”

    You sure are a self-righteous hater!  And you make no sense on top of your hateful blather!

    “I am neither troll nor disinfo inclined.”

    You just proved yourself otherwise.

    “The point of my previous comment is to show the need for factual basis in writing. Especially forthose who hold the attention of an audience, potentially large. I cannot help notice you missed the point. Your brief comment carries much anger. Don’t waste your time being angry. It leads you to lose focus. Even high school debaters learn early that the calm guy/girl is typically perceived as the winner of debates, because angry people scatter thoughts and forget their purpose.”

    You missed the point, the facts and are very angry.  No wonder you flunked debate class!  Cheers!

  • colleen

     I am neither troll nor disinfo inclined.

     Republicans (spit) are such shameless liars. go away

  • okparent

    Give em hell Mary- Having read several other of your comments, I see you are not just angry with me.  I happen to agree with much of what you have said regarding the value of women and the need for birth control.  As to the failed class, I was an honor grad.  I once thought I might have to take a C in trig, but I studied incessantly and managed a very low B. And as for Sandra Fluke, I had no idea who that was until I searched online. I remember the uproar over Limbaugh’s comments, and I hope Ms. Fluke has a tough skin. Limbaugh is an idiot. Ms. Fluke has apparently done a terrific amount of work to help women and should be thanked instead of insulted. I don’t need to agree with every belief she holds to say that. In addition, hate is a strong word. Disagreement is not equal to hate.

     

    Colleen- Republicans should be horrified at how rampant lying is within the party, and I suspect they aren’t because it is all too representative of their constituency. Present presidential candidate included. However, I personally vote for who I believe will do the job best. Last round, I voted for Obama. It would make my life easier if independent voters could vote in primaries.  Anyway, I wasn’t personally lying. I find it repulsive.

     

    Ms. Marty, if your writing is meant to preach to the proverbial choir, as it may be, I agree that better support for your statements is unnecessary. But the remaining original point was that when we post out in the wide world of the internet, we reach people we never knew existed. To those readers, we owe better than our own specially selected arguments. As parents, we don’t want to create clones who simply agree with whatever we say, we ultimately want children who have excellent critical thinking skills, who can sift the assertions from the facts, even if that leads them to disagree with us. The same should be said for what we write. When writing is to share an opinion, anything we think is fair game. But when facts are mixed with theory, it is vitally important to clarify which is which less our writing lose its validity. Thanks for sharing both, and I hope you seriously consider what I have shared.

  • colleen

    your readers here disagree. You are indeed a troll.