Hobby Lobby: We’ll Throw Away a Million Dollars a Day so Female Employees Don’t Get Comprehensive Health Care January 3, 2013

Hobby Lobby: We’ll Throw Away a Million Dollars a Day so Female Employees Don’t Get Comprehensive Health Care

As of the new year, the Christian-owned-but-secularly-run chain Hobby Lobby has to provide its employees with health coverage — including contraception (including birth control) — thanks to ObamaCare.

But the owners don’t want to do that and they’re prepared to pay a penalty of $1,300,000 a day to make sure they get their way:

All they’re asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don’t have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions,” Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. “Our basic point is the government can’t put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law.”

I guess if corporations are people, corporations also have religious beliefs…?

There’s a major problem with Duncan’s statement, though, and Fred Clark does a nice job of summarizing it:

Duncan carefully says that the company should be exempt from covering medical care “they believe” causes abortion.

Duncan is careful to say that because he is aware that the drugs in question do not, in fact, cause abortion. Emergency contraception is just exactly that — contraception. It does not end or interfere with an existing pregnancy.

It doesn’t matter if the evangelical gazillionaire owners of Hobby Lobby “believe” that emergency contraception causes abortions. It does not do that.

This is how warped the Hobby Lobby owners’ mindset is: If they think birth control kills a baby, then it kills a baby, no matter what the science says, and they’re gonna pay a fine worth over a million dollars per day to make sure their delusions aren’t overruled by the government.

If you ever want proof that religion is bad for women, look no further.

It’s possible this isn’t even about abortion. Remember: Wheaton College (a Christian school) was perfectly fine with providing comprehensive health care — including contraception coverage — to its employees for a long time. They only began opposing coverage of these abortion-pills-that-aren’t-really-abortion-pills — and retroactively changing their own insurance policies — after President Obama told them they had to provide it.

No one’s asking Hobby Lobby to endorse, support, or advocate for abortions. Their only job here is to provide health coverage for their employees, and their employees have a right to decide how to use it. If this was a church or religious group, I wouldn’t be saying this. Hobby Lobby isn’t either of those, though, so they have to play by the rules.

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  • Olvar

    Unless you think that anyone who works for a Jewish employer is bound to not eat pork?
    Bad example. A Jewish employer should not have to provide pork in the company cafeteria. If you want bacon, or morning after pills, then go get them elsewhere.

  • Baby_Raptor

    If your church wants money, go get it elsewhere. You’re not owed tax dollars.

    If you want your Viagra, or any of your other healthcare, covered, pay for it yourself. We shouldn’t have to pay for it.

  • Nono. The employer is not bound to serve pork, but the employer is also not allowed to prevent you from bringing your own ham sandwich to work. The employer may not designate the cafeteria as a kosher only space. The employer, in other words, may not extend hir private religious views into your life.

    In the same way, the employer may not force you to forgo needed medical care because of hir personal views of it, nor may ze effectively pay you less by denying you access to it.

  • I don’t think ‘the employer’ is trying to stop anyone from buying their own lunch. But the employer is buying everyone lunch, and then putting restrictions on what anyone can eat.

    Maybe: Employer gives everyone a lunch voucher, but says you can’t use it to buy pork?

  • Except the employer effectively is stopping people from buying their own lunch, because birth control is not cheap. My copay on the cheap, generic stuff in college was still $15/mo; the base price was between $60 and $90. My current BC, which works much better for me than those pills did, costs me $40/mo copay- I don’t even want to know how much it would otherwise cost.

    Basically, the comparison (like most analogies) falls apart when you look at the actual burdens involved.

  • Gotcha. Most analogies have limited value. Although I use them a lot, I’m reminded of an old friend who said that rather than use an analogy, just better explain the real thing.

  • I wish I could agree entirely with you! As it is, I just mostly agree with you. However, I really do think analogies have their place as explanatory tools so long as everyone understands their limits 🙂

    For example, the organ donation/pregnancy analogy to explain the concept of bodily autonomy to clueless people (usually men) is actually quite useful. The depth of violation of body that an unwanted pregnancy can be is just not something most men can wrap their heads around, so I have to analogize it to their bodies in a meaningful way to them.

  • Olvar

    Poppycock. It is not the Federal Government’s role to tell people how to run a business. If a federal law determines that a private employer may not designate the cafeteria as a kosher only space, then it is a corrupt and bad law.

  • There are a host of labor, civil rights, and safety laws that regulate private businesses. We are a society, and nobody operates in a vacuum. And this isn’t a cafeteria. This is freakin’ health care. Let’s try dropping the cafeteria analogy for a second. Hobby Lobby probably thinks sex should only occur between married couples. So, should they be able to refuse health care for babies born out of wedlock?

  • Why is it corrupt or bad? Employers have power over employees. It is the government’s job to ensure that employers don’t abuse that power. It is exactly the government’s job to tell people how to run a business in at least some ways- you have to pay your employees on time and of at least minimum wage, you may not force them to work in unsafe conditions, you may only hire people over a certain age, etc. You may also not discriminate against employees based on sex, race, or religion (among other attributes).

  • Olvar

    What? Like Obama?

    This is not the role of the Federal government. Hobby Lobby should be free to provide or not provide healthcare to whomever they want. They are in the crafts supply business, not healthcare.

  • Olvar

    It is the government’s job to ensure that employers don’t abuse that power.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

  • I actually agree with you. One’s health care should have nothing to do with one’s employment status. Like they do it in Canada.

  • Jeffies Marshall

    Maybe Hobby Lobby should forbid it’s employees from purchasing Birth Control with Hobby Lobby wages too.

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