Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Hobby Lobby is headed to the Supreme Court with an objection over Obamacare.  Hobby Lobby has objected to the mandate from Obamacare saying that businesses with over 50 employees must cover contraception with no co-pay.  Hobby Lobby claims that the mandate to cover contraception infringes on their 1st amendment rights and they are refusing to comply.  David Green, CEO of Hobby Lobby, has a problem with morning-after pill and the intrauterine device, because Mr. Green claims that these two types of contraception cause abortions.

“A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions.” David Green, CEO, Hobby Lobby

Mr. Green may not agree with paying for drugs that cause abortion, but he doesn’t seem to have a problem profiting from women who use this type of contraception.  I’ve looked for a statement from Mr. Green saying that Hobby Lobby won’t accept money from women using these types of contraceptives, but so far I haven’t found anything.  There is no big sign when you walk into a Hobby Lobby that says, “No shirt, No shoes, IUD, NO SERVICE”.

I have no doubt…NO doubt that Mr. Green and Hobby Lobby made millions in profits from women who use these types of contraceptives.  Why?  Because numerous women use IUDs for contraception.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, “in 2009, 8.5% of women using contraceptives relied on long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods (the implant and the IUD), rising from 5.5% in 2007 and 2.4% in 2002.”

 

For Hobby Lobby to make a profit off of women who use these objectionable contraceptives, but then declare that they can’t cover the contraception for religious reasons is hypocritical to say the least.

To be fair to religious institutions, like churches, Obamacare offers exemptions for the contraceptive mandate provided that they meet four criteria. A business or organization can claim an exemption if it:

  1. Has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose
  2. Primarily employs persons who share its religious tenents
  3. Primarily serves person who share its religious tenents
  4. Is a non-profit organization

 

Hobby Lobby clearly doesn’t qualify for an exemption based on these criteria.  Hobby Lobby isn’t a church in fact Hobby Lobby is a multi-million dollar business with over 500 locations.

 

Let’s look at the argument another way, say something a little less polarizing than contraception and abortion – what if an employer decided not to cover anti-depressants because of a belief that people can just pray their blues away?  What if an employer decided that covering anti-depressants violated their 1st amendment rights?

 

I think that we would all be shaking our heads and saying, “really”?  That is just crazy talk to think that a person could just pray their blues away. When we remove the hot button word “abortion” from the argument and replace it with something less controversial, the argument falls flat.  If the Supreme Court finds in favor of Hobby Lobby, what’s to stop a company from not covering maternity benefits to unmarried employees?  How about if a company decided not to cover Type 2 diabetes medications, because of the belief that the Bible holds the key to weight loss.  I mean there is a diet plan called the Genesis Diet.

 

My point is where does it stop?  Corporations are forced to follow Federal regulations every day that they may not agree with – just ask major manufacturers about their feelings about the Environmental Protection Agency regulations.  I’m sure that they would love to stop abiding by these EPA regulations if they could.

 

I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will find in favor of the Department of Health and Human Services and make Hobby Lobby comply with the law.  Just to be sure, I may take a moment to pray about it.

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