Texas Lawmaker Sticks Up for Hobby Lobby's Anti-Birth Control Crusade, Wants Taxpayers to Pay the Bill

A leading candidate for the most outrageous bill of this year’s legislative session in Texas is HB 649, filed today by state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, who is valiantly sticking up for a big corporation’s refusal to comply with the law and, while he’s at it, intruding in a woman’s private medical decisions.

This all stems from the fight between the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain and the federal government. The owners of Hobby Lobby, based on what they say is a religious conviction, have sued the feds because they don’t want to comply with the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The ACA mandates that health insurance plans provided by most employers (religious institutions like churches are exempted) include coverage for contraception. Refusing to comply has the company facing millions in federal fines.

Not to worry, Hobby Lobby. Stickland has you covered. His legislation would allow business that refuse to comply with the mandate to recoup the fines paid to the feds in the form of a state tax break.

Anybody want to do the math on how much $$ it would cost the state each year just to cover Hobby Lobby alone? Yeah, a lot.

If the bill passes, congratulations, Texas Taxpayer, you would be on the hook for Hobby Lobby’s fines and for the fines of any other business that refuses to comply with the mandate (because somebody else will have to cover the tax break Hobby Lobby gets). You would also be enabling executives at Hobby Lobby and other companies to impose their religious beliefs on their employees and limit their access to health care options like birth control. And you would be subsidizing Hobby Lobby’s flouting of the law.

At its core, this bill appears to be a continuation of what then-state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, called a “war on birth control” during the last legislative session two years ago. It appears that the religious right in Texas has since then learned nothing.

15 thoughts on “Texas Lawmaker Sticks Up for Hobby Lobby's Anti-Birth Control Crusade, Wants Taxpayers to Pay the Bill

  1. I certainly don’t want to pay the fines of a corporation that is breaking the law. I’m astonished (not really) that a Republican has introduced a bill that would force us to do so.

  2. The expression is “flouting the law,” not “flaunting” it. Please look up the words “flout” and “flaunt” if you’re not familiar with both terms; their meanings are not even remotely similar.

    I agree entirely with the position taken here in criticizing this extremly odious bill; it is indeed a foul piece of work. TFN Insider does a great service by exposing such chicanery in the state legislature and elsewhere, and I often like to link to its posts from Facebook or elsewhere.

    However, for those of us who want to share this blog and the misdeeds it exposes, it can make us look like a bunch of uneducated yokels when such criticisms are worded as if by someone who doesn’t know proper English.

    I understand and appreciate that the most difficult writing to proofread is one’s own; I have that problem as well. But using Spellcheck alone is not enough, since it cannot tell when a word has been correctly spelled but is entirely the wrong word. Please find someone to proofread these posts. Thank you.

    ~David D.G.

  3. Businesses have no religious beliefs, just their owners. If the Green family wants to stand on principle, let them screen out potential customers and employees who believe religion should not determine insurance coverage. Then they can pay their own fine from the income that is left.

  4. Why should any business pay for employee benefits if it can get the state to pay for them instead, and even to pay any fines the business may incur?

  5. If the corporations do not pay for Birth Control then they should not pay for Viagra or other similar drugs. The bottom line is Corporations should not own the Government and it is becoming clear that in Texas the Corporations and Religious Fanatics are taking over the Government. This is definitely not in line with Texas being an Independent state as we have so often stated.