CNN’s Costello: Does SCOTUS Ruling Allow ‘Religion to Make Decisions Over Science?’

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and that company's argument for religious freedom. CNN’s Carol Costello wondered if the decision will now allow for “religion to make decisions over science.”

Joined by a panel of several guests to discuss the coming ruling on CNN Newsroom, host Carol Costello was more concerned with the impact the Supreme Court ruling would have on science rather than constitutionality.

Costello set up the question by arguing that Hobby Lobby’s fight is against four types of contraception that it believes,

“can cause abortion. But science doesn't support that. So if the court rules in Hobby Lobby's favor, isn't it saying that religion can make those decisions over science?”

Costello’s question went virtually untouched by the panel.

In addition, MSNBC covered the court ruling and suggested that the case could have a “devastaing effect.” Host Craig Melvin asked MSNBC contributor Irin Carmon if the ruling would "be seen as a complete and utter defeat for women’s reproductive rights or is that an overstatement?” Carmon argued that Melvin was exactly right.

Carmon pointed out that the plaintiff in the ruling addressed Title X, a government program that provides birth control to low income women as a way to obtain contraception. But Carmon said Title X isn’t enough because “the Republican Party is trying to get rid of Title X and they’re trying to defund Planned Parenthood.” For Carmon, today’s ruling “is an all-out assault on access to contraceptives and other healthcare services.”

One can assume Costello and Carmon's thoughts on the ruling are the way a majority of the media will view the decision as well. The media will interpret today’s ruling as a loss for women’s reproductive rights and science rather than a win for religious freedom and constitutional rights.

The two relevant portions are transcribed below:

CNN
Newsroom with Carol Costello
June 30, 2014
10:07 a.m. Eastern

CAROL COSTELLO: The other part, Jonathan that's interesting. Hobby Lobby doesn't object to all contraception, right? Just emergency contraception. Four specific kinds that Hobby Lobby says can cause abortion, in essence, right? But science doesn't support that. So if the court rules in Hobby Lobby's favor, isn't it saying that religion can make those decisions over science?

MSNBC
MSNBC Live
June 30, 2014
10:24 a.m. Eastern


CRAIG MELVIN: Is this going to be seen as a complete and utter defeat for women's reproductive rights or is that an overstatement?

IRIN CARMON:  I think you're going to see a lot of disappointment. Only because it was restricted to women's health doesn't mean it doesn't create a devastating effect. Millions of women use contraception every day. They don't think their IUD is abortion, because it isn't. Treating women’s healthcare differently is going to resonate. One of the things that the plaintiff said -- the government can give people birth control. There’s a program Title X that gives low income people birth control. They said, why don’t you just do it through that. Guess what? The Republican Party is trying to get rid of Title X, they’re trying to defund Planned Parenthood which provides low cost contraception. The context of this is an all-out assaults on access to contraceptives and other healthcare services.

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.