Hobby Lobby Controversy

Updated on January 04, 2013
☆.A. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
29 answers

What are your thoughts on the Hobby Lobby issue (healthcare)?

Hobby Lobby is hardly a religious institution. I could see churches being exempt, but Hobby Lobby? Oh--the morning after pill prohibits ovulation, not implantation, so "abortion pill" is a misnomer.

Hobby Lobby might have short checkout lines!

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So What Happened?

Here is one article from NPR:

This is Hobby Lobby's health care coverage for their employees. You know, like your employer (or husbands employers ) health care coverage? It's not about taxpayers paying for anyone's anything. It's about apples-to-apples health care coverage for all employees.
Soooo...if you work for a book store owned by a Jehovah's witness, you'd be OK with them denying coverage for a life saving transfusion for your child? Or if you work for a manufacturer owned by a Jew, you'd be OK working OT on Christmas? Same thing.

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answers from New York on

If Hobby Lobby chooses to not to follow the mandate then the government should choose to enforce that fine.

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answers from Chicago on

I guess I'll be adding them to my list of companies i dont shop at because they infringe on freedom.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well I don't believe employers should be able to dictate what health care decisions their employees should make. I don't see it as any different than if Hobby Lobby decides they don't believe in chemotherapy or fertility treatment or mental health or whatever wackiness they believe in. If they feel that strongly, let them pay the fine. I will shop elsewhere happily.

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answers from Erie on

The ethical questions surrounding this issue are so cut and dry...

1. Birth control is used by 98% of U.S. woman for various reasons at some point in their life time.
2. Many birth control medicines also treat illness, and are often the ONLY or the BEST drug that will do what it does.
3. Being on birth control and preventing pregnancy is sometimes a measure to save a woman's life, if getting pregnant will put her life in danger.
4. Just because it's offered, doesn't mean you have to use it. The use of it is on the conscience of those that actually use it, not those who provide insurance for it. I don't want to pay for your lap-band surgery or IVF, but there you are.
5. It's not up to my employer to make this kind of ethical and medical decision for me. That's up to me and my doctor.
6. If they won't offer a plan that provides for birth control for woman, I should sure hope they won't provide viagra, either.

I don't shop there, so it's not an issue of boycotting it for me. I just see so many people getting all fussy about this and forgetting that an ethical argument is decided using facts, not feelings or religious beliefs. The sanctity of life notwithstanding, it's still not up to anyone but me and my doctor to dictate my medical treatment. Not providing coverage for life saving measures to women is unethical. If I choose to use it for something you feel icky about, that's on me. It's not up to you to dictate my sins either. Period.

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answers from Chicago on

I will shop there MORE often

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answers from Parkersburg on

Since when is it a "freedom" to have someone else pay for the consequences for your unprotected sex? (And yes, I do know a minuscule number of women are raped - but they have free clinics that provide this pill for free for situations like that.) Please......... What's next? Every company you work for will be required to provide you with a cell phone free of charge? Internet free of charge? Cable television? We need to quit feeling so entitled all of the time and feel like we are owed everything.

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answers from Tampa on

You asked so here goes. I think that it is shameful that ANY business (religious or otherwise) would try to prevent women from having access to birth control if they want it. And yes, if it wasn't covered through your employee provided health insurance, you would be forced to go to a Planned Parenthood or Health Department clinic to get the same thing.

My take on this is if you personally have a moral or religious objection to birth control, then don't take it. But a business shouldn't try to limit reproductive choices to women.

ETA: A lot of these religious businesses and Catholic non-profits believe that NO ONE should take birth control and are trying to impose their views on everyone else. These same institutions still had a problem with it even if they did not have to pay for it. Please tell me why Viagra should be covered under a employee health plan but birth control shouldn't be. Some women use birth control for medical reasons other than to prevent pregnancy.

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answers from Augusta on

Ditto JC.

Everyone has access to birth control. Forcing tax payers to pay for it is totally different.
The only winners in Obamacare are the insurance companies. They are making money hand over fist on it.

ETA : I think I'll shop at Hobby Lobby more now.

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answers from Chicago on

Thanks for the link LovesTeachingMath - I hadn't seen anything from him directly.

I get that David Green is unhappy that he "can't run his business on Christian principles instead of the law". Funny thing that separation of Church & State.

David Green states:
The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law.

The government is NOT actually forcing you choose between following your faith and following the law.
What the government is doing is forcing you to ALLOW ME TO FOLLOW THE LAW. The government is preventing you from using your religious beliefs to conduct business.

David Green states:
Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs

Correct. You CAN'T run a business according to beliefs. You must run a company according the law.

I cite Chick-Fil-A. The CEO of Chick-Fil-A stated on a Christian talk show that he does not support gay marriage. He may have even indicated that he believes homosexuality to be wrong.
Fine. Those are his personal beliefs and he is entitled to them. He is entitled to state his personal beliefs whenever and however he wants. On his own time. Regardless of whether or not you and I agree with them. Regardless of whether or not his beliefs are in accordance with the law or even with the societal status quo. He can say and believe whatever he wants (as long as he abides by the 1st Amendment).
However, his COMPANY is run per the law. Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. There are many gay employees; many have been promoted. Many of the employees spoke out after his statement and told the picketers to go away. That this was a business and it had nothing to do with their owner's religious beliefs.
THAT is how you balance your personal beliefs with your corporate agenda. Ummmmm You don't. You keep them separate.

And for those who say employees of Hobby Lobby should "just go work someplace else" if they don't like the policies of that company? Why don't you go live someplace else if you don't like the laws of America? Because it's just not that easy to pick up and change your life, that's why.

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answers from Columbia on

Well, here's the deal. Beliefs and laws are 2 different things. In America there does still exist a separation of church and state. So what you BELIEVE as a company is IRRELEVANT as long as you follow the law.

Hobby Lobby is choosing to break the law. They may be fined. That is their right. But just like with EVERYTHING in life, there are consequences to the decisions we make. So, there's is an up to 1.3 million dollar per day fine for not following the law.

We live in a democracy. We live in a capitalist society. This is how it works.

How the owner of Hobby Lobby FEELS about parts of the law is irrelevant.

If your FEELINGS are in distinct opposition to the LAW of the country in which you are choosing to operate a business.... then perhaps you should not run a business in America where the government, at this point, CAN make mandates about the availability of certain benefits. In addition to the morning after pill, I believe Hobby Lobby is also not complying with other parts of the Women's Affordability Act - which is to provide co-pay free birth control.... so it is across the board.... not just refusal to provide access to the morning after pill.

However, as an EMPLOYEE I do not have to share your personal religious views. Again - there is a separation of Church and State. You are not allowed to tell me how I have to behave based on what you believe.

You may believe that life begins at conception. You may be right. But legally that doesn't mean that you can decide what healthcare decisions I am able to make.

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answers from Omaha on

Ok one thing I do not understand is people are all for gay rights but when a company such as hobby lobby, fairway, or the like try to use a right it is considered obserd. I am sorry but if you do not like the policy just leave! Just like if I do not like seeing a gay couple (which I do not mind but I will use as example) I will walk away. It is our freedom to allow this. It is our right. It is their right as a business owner.

I am sorry if not all companies are going to agree with the socialist way of life. I didn't think we were a socialist country anyways.

Another reason that Obama will never be respected by me! Now I have to pay for the hillbilly down the street not to get pregnant. And when she forgets her BC then I have to pay more because he made it easier for her to live off of welfare! Congrats Obama you just royally f-ed yourself in my eyes!!!! O BTW I got my IUD put in yesterday and guess who payed for it... Not my company, Not you,.... ALL ME! Why should I have to pay for yours and mine!

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Financially, I think their stance is really stupid. If you look at the cost of birth control vs the price of prenatal care, birth, and then adding on insurance for the child... it would be much smarter for them to.just pay for the bc. That said, most birth control is not that expensive if you have to pay out of pocket, and planned parenthood can.help.you out if you cant afford it. I think its a lot of people trying to make a point for the sake of making a point, its really stupid. Also, wouldnt it be against HIPPA for them to even know their employees were getting the bc in the first place?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm sorry, reverend ruby, I usually agree with much of what you post, but how exactly is hobby lobby "pushing their extreme Christian views on everyone"? I don't see them out on street corners harassing people into embracing their views. People have the CHOICE to work for them or not, in that sense, we still have some freedoms to speak of. Why when a liberal speaks out for their cause, are they lauded and yet anyone on the conservative side is a bigot wh is pushing their beliefs off on others? We all have a rit to our opinions and to support what we like. For my part, I'm pretty sick of the liberal view being shoved down my throat from our biased media, hollywood, etc. Thankfully, I can still choose what I watch and listen to....for now, anyway.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Anyone who wants birth control can have it, they should just have to pay for it. I don't expect the tax payer to pay for my Motrin when I have a headache.
@ Tracy who is trying to prevent woman from having access to BC? Having access and forcing tax payers to pay for it are two different things.

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answers from Seattle on

Personally I do not mind voting with my wallet - I wish there was a list of companies refusing to provide healthcare (and as part of that access to birth control) to their employees - I would not shop there.

My thought on this is as as an employer you should not be able to pick and choose which healthcare services people get. There are religions who do not believe in blood transfusions - should they be able to opt out of coverage for those for their employees?

No. I will no longer shop at hobby lobby. I already avoid walmart like the pest.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I disagree with the "short checkout lines", lol. If I owned a business and the government told me what type of insurance I HAD to provide my employees, I would be insulted! This is America, not Russia. I have the right to offer whatever health packages I see fit. If I personally don't agree with something I'm not going to offer it because it's MY company therefore my choice of what to offer. I don't have to offer a thing! I don't understand the gimme attitude of people who think just because they want it they should have it. Maybe they should work hard and build their own company and then they can offer what they want. PERIOD.

***I just read your "so what happened" comment. I have to say, the examples you listed would be the right of those companies, and believe me, there are businesses that are run like that! If I needed the work and that's the only job, yes I'd suck it up and do what I had to do. It's their right. If you don't want the medical package offered by the business you work for you have the right to go elsewhere, and in some cases it would be cheaper to go elsewhere! I can give a few examples of family members I know who do just that. My DIL cannot afford her companies packages they offer so she goes elsewhere. My brother and his wife cannot afford the packages offered through their company so they go elsewhere. I know others as well. I would request Christmas day off and if I didn't get it, I'd work around it, but if the business was located in a mainly non-Jewish area I'm sure their businees wouldn't be busy anyway, but if I lived in a Jewish area I would expect to live by the rules of their Jewish society. I don't hear anyone complaining about having Sundays off of Chik-Fil-A even when they need to work weekends. I don't hear athiests complaining about getting religious holidays off and getting paid for it! You would think they'd be offended but that's their double standard. In the end, and American company can offer what they want. It's their company. PERIOD.

***Oh, I have to add, we go elsewhere for our own insurance for our family of 6. The company my husband works for does not offer dental. Should we revolt? How dare they, right? That stuff is expensive and it's a burden but we go elsewhere and get what we need.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from Dallas on

Thanks for distroying the peace around here. it was getting way too friendly with people helping with real people in pain and with huge decisions and real fear. It was an unhealthy love fest with people helping people and relating solutions that might relieve burdens, help children and save marriages.

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answers from Washington DC on

i had no idea!
thanks for the info.
their checkout line will not be lengthened by one S..

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answers from Minneapolis on

I believe that an employer's health care coverage should include birth control but NOT emergency contraceptives. It doesn't matter what the religious values of the employer's are.

I feel very sad for Hobby Lobby. I am not religious, but if I were and the government forced me to choose between my business and following my religious values I would be heartbroken.

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answers from Houston on

Lines were pretty long here in Houston. They were pretty long here at Chikfila too.

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answers from Phoenix on

Insurance companies should not be allowed to refuse coverage for birth control. Then it is a moot point- if they provide health insurance, birth control is covered, no worrying about choosing a company that will not cover certain things. Problem solved. Am genius.

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answers from Dallas on

Just as I support my own freedoms, I support the right of any privately-owned entity to conduct business in a way that is in line with their beliefs. If you don't like it, don't work there.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

This Green character has no business making medical decisions. If he could run the world like he sees fit, there would be many other denials in medicine.

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answers from Appleton on

I believe it is all a part of the freedom of religion. And certain groups of people who seem to believe because they are 'good Christians' they are the only ones allowed this freedom. The statement I read said they were not going to offer insurance coverage the morning after pill because they felt it was the same as abortion and they are anti-abortion because of religious beliefs.

In my opinion TOO BAD SO SAD!!!

I too am anti-abortion but I also believe in being pro-choice. I am not naive enough to think that if we reverse Row vs Wade will stop abortions from happening any more than Proibition stopped alcohol sales. It would just make criminals rich.

Let your dollars do your talking. Post on their facebook page 'I'm no longer shopping in your stores because ......
Sometimes the only thing that makes business owners understand is money talks and my money will no longer go to your store because I do not like your business practices.
Hence I no longer shop at
Sears, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Petsmart, Macy's and a few others
Sears --- I had an interview at Sears and the woman lied through her teeth to get me to take the job.
Petsmart --- would not give my friend a day off the week before Christmas to go to my Mom's funeral, even though she could have traded days off with a co-worker.
Macy's --- had an interview, got the job, went in for register training and was treated so horribly I refused to return.
Wal-mart -- to many to type here.
Hobby Lobby -- pushing their extreme Christian concepts on everyone.

According to the article I read this decison by Hobby Lobby was going to cost them over $1 Million/day in fines. Let's see if they can stay open.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know how I'd feel since it hasn't come up for me. BUT I know going in that Hobby Lobby is a religious owner business. They post on the window that they are closed on Sunday's for their employees to have time to be with their families and spend time at church. Or something very close to that. I know going there that if I don't want to conform to their views I should probably not apply.

If I thought that the use of animals for food was wrong and had strong feelings about it I probably wouldn't go to work in a slaughter house. That would be against my personal beliefs if I was of that mind set. So if you chose to work in a place where you know they are going to have certain ideals then I would expect you to realize that you are going to be upset when confronted with some sort of issue like this.

I think that if a person is in need of medical help they go to the doc or the ER. If their insurance doesn't cover it they pay out of pocket for it and it adds up on their deductible. That's all.

I am a short fat woman. I don't weigh 300 lbs but feel like it.

I have claustrophobia so if I have to do an MRI it has to be the open ones. I have yet to find any insurance company that will pay the extra money to use the open sided one that is more expensive.

I was told that since I didn't weigh 300 lbs I had to use the closed one. They told me it was made to do people up to 300lbs. I told them to take 300lbs of playdoh and roll it out into a thin line, that was a tall person that weighed 300 lbs. Then take that roll of playdoh and roll it up into a ball. That was me. Now they could stuff that round ball into that hole and see how it fit.

I still had to pay for my open MRI's myself but it counted as part of my own part that I would have to pay every year before I could be at 100%.

I would make sure that I read my insurance papers before signing them and if there was something that I didn't agree with I would ask about it then perhaps chose to get hubby's insurance or put money in a medical spending account to pay for those things that my company insurance didn't cover.

There are always going to be insurance that doesn't cover certain procedures or medications. That is life and I have never had any sort of insurance where everything was covered.

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answers from Albany on

What's the "Hobby Lobby" Controversy? Really, I don't get out much!


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answers from Louisville on

More than just this company and controversy - some are majorly concerned how fast we will slide down this slipperly slope...

Had an article crossed into my newsfeed on fb -- anyone else here get it - it's about Kitty Werthmann who survived Hitler. Wonder how many will think it will never happen here? It happened there - Austria!

eta - just love this from Karen!
I don't hear athiests complaining about getting religious holidays off and getting paid for it! You would think they'd be offended but that's their double standard.

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answers from Austin on

Not terribly surprising.

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