Hobby Lobby Hypocrisy and the War on Birth Control

When Hobby Lobby sued the Obama administration over the requirement that it provide coverage for birth control in its employees’ health insurance plans, the company and religious-right groups billed the lawsuit as a defense of religious freedom. But there are some big problems with that claim — not the least of which is the attempt to redefine religious freedom to mean allowing employers to impose their religious beliefs on the personal decisions their workers make. Let’s look at some of the other problems.

First, opponents of the requirement say they shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortion drugs like Plan B and Ella. But as we have pointed out before, those emergency contraceptives don’t cause abortions, despite how loudly religious-righters repeat the falsehood that they do.

Second, as Mother Jones points out in a new article, Hobby Lobby’s employee insurance actually included coverage for Plan B and Ella until sometime in 2012 — when the company decided to sue the administration over the birth control requirement. Did the company and its owners not have moral objections to those drugs before then?

Finally, as Mother Jones reports in the same article, Hobby Lobby’s employee retirement plan invests $73 million in companies that produce emergency contraception products. So the company has a moral objection to including coverage for those products in its employees’ health insurance but not to investing in companies that make them?

Here is what’s really going on. Hobby Lobby’s case isn’t about religious freedom. It’s about discriminating against women who don’t share their boss’s religious beliefs. It’s about making it harder for women to get access to birth control. It’s about interfering with the right of women to make their own decisions about whether and when to have children. This is nothing new — even some Texas legislators have declared a “war on birth control.”

Hobby Lobby and the right-wing pressure groups that back the company’s lawsuit aren’t really interested in religious freedom as much as they’re interested in control — controlling the personal decisions individuals make about their own lives in accordance with their own deeply held personal beliefs.

7 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby Hypocrisy and the War on Birth Control

  1. ” It’s about discriminating against women who don’t share their boss’s religious beliefs.”

    I disagree. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs. It’s all about power and authoritarianism. Nobody, even the government (especially the government!) can tell Mr. Green what to do and he’s going to show them, by gum!

    If it was about religious beliefs AND Mr. Green was religiously opposed to birth control, or the color pink, or donuts then he would simply not hire women who wore pink, used contraceptives and ate donuts.

    Mr. Green wasn’t the first to object to providing birth control through an insurance policy. Other protests were made, then Mr. Green saw an opportunity to turn the screws.

    Green can do what he wants. I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  2. Hobby Lobby is not only hypocritical, with its investments in contraceptive technology, but if it should win its Supreme Court case the result will actually be an increase in the abortion rate.

    1. Yes, but it would place the Religious Right in a nice spot. The more abortions they can notch into their belts, the greater the holocaust, and the greater the holocaust, the greater the whine and the greater the assurance of their continued raison-d’etre.

  3. I think there is another factor driving Hobby Lobby’s stance: irrational hatred of Obama. And I contend that the religious right’s anti-progressive positions are fueled to a significant degree by uncomfortable disdain for the president because of his race.
    If Hobby Lobby or other “pro-life” entities really wanted to minimize abortion, they would do everything possible to maximize widespread access to pregnancy control methods and education (especially in high schools). People who use condoms, IUDs, birth control pills, etc. do not need abortions. Free birth control to the people!

    1. Yes, but it would place the Religious Right in a nice spot. The more abortions they can notch into their belts, the greater the holocaust, and the greater the holocaust, the greater the whine and the greater the assurance of their continued raison-d’etre.

      Read more about David Green (CEO of Hobby Lobby), his family, and his religious beliefs. Funny thing though, I found several artciles dealing with their religious beliefs but nothing about which specific church tradition, if any, that they follow. However, the article below leads me to believe “right wing fundie” is most likely:

      http://everydaychristian.com/work/story/1892/

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