Hobby Lobby Files Suit Opposing Affordable Care Act Birth Control Benefit

Emergency contraception (EC) is contraception. It prevents pregnancy, and by definition does not cause abortions. But mischaracterizing EC as an abortifacient is just one of the excuses that craft store chain Hobby Lobby is using to oppose the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act, a rule that requires that all insurance plans offer coverage of all FDA-approved methods of contraception without a co pay, including both emergency contraception and sterilization.

The Oklahoma-based company isn’t the first non-religious entity to sue the administration over the new rule, but they have staked claim as the first non-Catholic based one.  “We hope that this lawsuit, on behalf of such a large and prominent evangelical Christian business, will draw attention to the fact that the government is trying to force people of all different faiths to violate their faith,” Becket Fund for Religious Liberty attorney Kyle Duncan told reporters during a conference call. “This is not by any means a Catholic-only issue. Some of the drugs involved in the mandate can cause an early abortion. And many Americans who are not Catholic have a problem with this.”

But expanding the opposition from extreme anti-choice Catholics to extreme anti-choice Catholics and Evangelical Christians isn’t the only ground this lawsuit is breaking.

According to the lawsuit:

“The Green family’s religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices….The administrative rule at issue in this case runs roughshod over the Green family’s religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing them to provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.”

The lawsuit specifically claims that Plan B, Ella, and IUDs “can prevent the implantation of a human embryo in the wall of the uterus, which constitutes an abortion,” despite scientific studies saying that the medications inhibit ovulation instead, and despite the fact that a pregnancy is not established unless and until an embryo successfuly implants in the lining of the uterus.

The company says that it pays 80 percent above the federal minimum wage, meaning an hourly employee would make approximately $13 an hour pre-tax. With a 40-hour work week, an employee would be earning roughly $520 a week, or $2100 a month before taxes. As many analyses have clearly shown, birth control is costly, especially for an hourly or low-wage worker and especially when factoring in related doctor’s visits and monthly recurring costs. Moreover, covering birth control is cost-effective: As with any prevention intervention, it is far less expensive to prevent an unwanted or unintended pregnancy through coverage of birth control. And finally, insurance policies that are part of a benefits package, just like retirement, vacation pay, or other elements of a benefits package are earned and therefore owned by the employee.

Company CEO David Green argues that not following the mandate would cost his company $1.3 million per day or a loss of their religious liberty should they be forced to comply. Currently, the chain is spending half of its annual profits to fund religious ministries at a rate of “hundreds of millions of dollars per year,” as Green reported to Shopping Business Center last May. This includes a $70 million “gift” to Oral Roberts University in 2007.

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  • arachne646

    “I Love This Yarn” and some other products are really good. Too bad I won’t be seeing them any time soon, if ever.

  • fbuckley

    I stopped doing business with these pos’s for incidents in freight and shipping and not addressing erroneous Orders. They did not even have a clue.  From upper Management, they have an exclusionary and dismissive hubris with customers – fascist like in every way.  It does not surprise me that they “claim” to be evangelical.  Most fascists seem to make that claim or as the original movement claimed, to have strong (Catholic) religious ties and a need for perpetual war.

    The extreme Right has taken over in many areas of Business and really need to get a clue that inserting Politics into your Business like this is an affront to customers – not all – but it it is to me.

    If there are enough customers who are disgusted with this behaviour, and imposition of religious dogma into business, as with recent actions against Planned Parenthood, take your business elsewhere and maybe these pos’s will get a clue.  Or not.

  • cactus-wren

    This is Hobby Lobby, remember.  Their in-store music is hymns.  Every Christmas and Easter, their website’s content is replaced with Christian preaching and messages of “salvation”.



  • dinkydaubilly

    Two blog posts on the HobbyLobby dustup:


    In which we examine a point that is being overlooked: The Hobby Lobby owners are devout, all-American, patriotic, flag-waving ‘Christians’.  As well they should be, because, as we all know, “… this is a Christian Nation …”. Yet Hobby Lobby is the biggest storefront for Chinese-made goods outside of the Norinco plant in downtown Beijing. How do all those right-wing Hobby Lobby supporters manage to rationalize that?

    Meanwhile …

    If the employees are contributing a sizeable chunk of change to their health care insurance, why should they not be able to obtain those meds which they and their doctors believe that they require? The Hobby Lobby position is based on religious views, not on medical reasons, not even on fiscal reasons. Why is it up to the employer to unilaterally decide, based on irrational non-medical reasoning, what the plan participants may or may not have?

    Further meanwhile … here is a much better source of yarns:


    Leece (http://www.writingplaces.com/) uses them almost exclusively as the source of yarns for her Etsy shop and her own personal projects. No … it isn’t an American source. I guess we ain’t quite as right-wing as some of our friends and neighbors.