I have a new hero: Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter.
Eden Foods is an organic company popular among the “crunchy, liberal crowd” which has filed suit against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate.
Potter is getting slammed over it, thanks in part to a hit piece last week in Salon magazine which publicized the suit and framed Potter as a man with an anti-birth control agenda.
Don’t waste your time on the original article. Instead, enjoy the refreshing quotes from the no nonsense, plain-speaking Mr. Potter in Salon’s follow-up piece from Monday relating a telephone conversation between Potter and Salon writer Irin Carmen.
“I’ve got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills,” Potter told Carmen. Then he elaborated:
I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That’s my issue, that’s what I object to, and that’s the beginning and end of the story….I’m not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don’t tell me I gotta pay for it.
Rock on, M.P.!
When Carmen pressed Potter using the fallacy that “the mandate doesn’t cover abortion” but “only contraception,” Potter responded this way:
It’s a morass…I’m not an expert in anything. I’m not the pope. I’m in the food business. I’m qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women’s issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for.
When Carmen said contraceptive coverage is cheaper to pay for than maternity coverage, Potter replied: “One’s got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud.”
Potter is not backing down: “I worked my ass off at figuring out what to do on it. I worked hard on it and I made a decision,” he said. “The federal government has no right to do what they’ve done. No constitutional right, no standing.”
Carmen writes that Potter sounded annoyed that he’s receiving emails telling him to stay out of people’s bedrooms. “I’m not in your bedroom,” he said. “Obama’s in your bedroom.”
Michael Potter is doing the right thing, for the right reasons, and he’s getting slammed by left-wing activists who have lots of time on their hands. He needs to hear from the rest of us.
I just did, and here’s what I said:
Dear Mr. Potter:
I know you're getting heat for your lawsuit from people who like the idea of free birth control and abortion drugs, courtesy of a heavy-handed federal government mandate on employers.
But you should know there are many people who agree with you that it is not the federal government's place to dictate to employers that they must buy these things for their employees in their health plans. And yes, the mandate does include drugs that can cause an early abortion, not just contraception.
As a woman and a lawyer, my message is this: contraceptives and abortion pills are widely available, they're legally unrestricted, and they're cheap. Anyone who wants them can get them. There is no reason for the federal government to force every employer in America to provide them "for free."
Thanks for standing firm. I can't wait to buy lots of Eden Foods!