In a discovery that is bound to rankle supporters, Mother Jones magazine revealed yesterday that Hobby Lobby is in bed with the enemy.
After months/years of fighting the Affordable Care Act’s provisions requiring birth control to be covered by employer-provided insurance plans, including taking that fight all the way to the United States Supreme Court, it now comes to light that the company may not know where its money goes.
In fact, it turns out that Hobby Lobby’s corporate 401(k) plan has more than $73 Million in mutual funds investments in companies that produce the very drugs and devices that they are fighting against. These include emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions.
“These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella … Pfizer, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions … AstraZeneca, which … manufactures Prostodin, Cerviprime, and Partocin, three drugs commonly used in abortions; and Forest Laboratories, which makes Cervidil, a drug used to induce abortions.”
Many people don’t know exactly what is in their 401(k) mutual fund sections. That is the nature of a mutual fund: it is managed by someone else so you don’t have to pick what you are investing in. But a company that is so ardently fighting this battle should have had someone who knows how to see such things – like the someone that Mother Jones has – to check.
Some folks have argued that Hobby Lobby’s assertions about so-called “morning after” and “Plan B” pills are unfounded, that they have a mistaken understanding about how these things work. But there is no accounting for a person’s opinions. If Hobby Lobby wanted to fight for its religious right to not pay for aspirin because they viewed headaches as God’s will, we would still be at the Supreme Court with this case. That is the nature of a religious liberty argument. It does not have to make sense to anyone else but the person making the argument.
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