Is it immoral for an egg to fail to implant in the endometrium after conception? This is the belief that Hobby Lobby clings to in its effort to avoid paying for certain forms of contraception. And yet, roughly 1/3, or even up to 50%, of all conceptions naturally flush out, failing.

That’s a lot of dead people. It would seem that God intended for it to be this way (because it is the way women function), and therefore personhood either cannot occur at or before fertilization, or God is the single most sadistic being in existence, ushering souls to a quick and inglorious doom so that they can provide a soft, bouncy blastocyst carpet over heaven.

But no matter how silly the belief that personhood begins at conception is, it would seem that Hobby Lobby relies on verses like Psalm 139:13 to substantiate its owners beliefs, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” The thinking goes that, with all this knitting going on in the womb, this single cell is a tiny human with a soul and a conscious desire to live. Not that it actually describes points in development, but it’s the idea that matters, or something.

Then we have 1 Corinthians 15:46, “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.” You get a clear picture that the material comes before the spiritual, and it is very suggestive that it is not even simultaneous, but sequential. When a Christian is referring to the material of a person, in the context of defending the personhood of a fertilized cell, they are referring to the complete genetic makeup of a human. So, then, you can conclude that personhood comes after conception.

On the other side of the ring we have Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” From this you may conclude that God knows the person prior to conception.

So what have we got? We have Christians who believe that a person begins existence at conception, and two verses which say either, no, it happens afterwards, or no, it happens beforehand. Meanwhile, in the world of factual information, we have a lot of spontaneously aborted protohumans that nobody is crying about, not even the people who (profess to) believe such a thing is a great and terrible tragedy. Plus Hobby Lobby providing the contraceptives on its health plan up until it was required to do so, and Hobby Lobby investing in companies which produce actual drugs for abortion, and Hobby Lobby sourcing much of its product from China, where abortion is impressed upon citizens. I suspect the belief Hobby Lobby wishes to express is less a concern about religious rights surrounding corporations, and more a political ideology.


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