Hobby Lobby Will Completely Ignore Court Order, Continue to Deny Employees Contraception

Written by Annie-Rose Strasser

Craft store chain Hobby Lobby announced on Friday that it will ignore the ruling of U.S. courts and refuse to provide copay-free birth control access to its employees. It will do so despite whatever costs it may incur, even if they are higher than the cost of birth control itself.

Upon learning that Obamacare required employers and insurance companies to provide birth control with no cost to employees, Hobby Lobby sued, saying that, despite the secular nature of the business, the company’s owner’s religious objections should be taken into consideration. When a court denied that line of reasoning, Hobby Lobby took its grievances to the Supreme Court and asked for an injunction. The highest court in the land denied that request, telling Hobby Lobby that it must allow its employees access to birth control as it seeks further litigation.

But Hobby Lobby is saying no.

The store plans to ignore the provision anyway, opting to pay a fine instead of provide birth control, including the morning after pill commonly known as Plan B, which the owner feels goes against his personal religious values:

With Wednesday’s rejection of an emergency stay of that federal health care law by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel could be subject to fines of up to $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday.

They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the company. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”

As for the potential fines, Duncan said, “We’re just going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

This ignores two obvious points — first, that Plan B is not an ‘abortion-inducing’ drug, as Hobby Lobby claims, and second, that the company may well end up paying more to avoid covering contraception than they would simply providing access. It also takes a twisted view on the ‘Freedom of Religion’ argument; the company is actually forcing its owner’s religious beliefs on all employees, no matter their personal religious views.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

GOP Rep: Birth Control Mandate as Bad as 9/11, Pearl Harbor

New Jersey Man Denied Emergency Contraception Because He’s A Man

5 Reasons Teens Need Free Access to Contraception (Just Ask the French)


Photo: anneheathen/flickr


Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Very interesting, thanks!

Mark M.
mark M.3 years ago

I am not seeking to be an apologist for Hobby Lobby. I do not agree with them, much as I admire their stand. As I understand it there are many businesses in the same position vis-a-vis this new law but only Hobby Lobby has had what it takes to stick its head above the parapet. (i.e.religious conviction and financial resources). It is the principle of government UNNECESSARILY riding rough shod over religious convictions that bothers me. I respect your view Sandra and your arguments but see no reason to change my own.

Sandra Lewis
Sandra Lewis3 years ago


Secular corporations do not have the legal standing to claim "religious conscience". Corporations especially are under the burden to provide proof in court for allegations that legally prescribed drugs "cause abortions". If you get yourself a free PACER account you can look up the case and download all of the exhibits yourself. The corporation was not able to make its case.

Regarding your condemnation that this might be a "bad law", you have yet to provide any evidence of this. There are many laws that make people unhappy but they still must abide by the law in order not to harm the public. It does more harm to the public to flout this law than it does to obey it. In fact, both corporations (Hobby Lobby and Mardel) provided these legal prescription drugs in their health care plans BEFORE the law required it. Why are they fighting it now?

Mark M.
mark M.3 years ago

If the Hobby Lobby owners are going to great expense objecting to an abortion pill that is not an abortion pill at all that is more than a little ironical. It does not, however, alter the principle of state control against conscience without consent.
A christian church can offer an insurance package to employees with the exclusions that the Greens are not allowed. I imagine most contributors here would say the church should not be allowed either.
There are such deep divisions over the subject of abortion this law was bound to cause distress and is therefore bad law.

Tom Redfern
Tom R.3 years ago

pragmatic rather than cynical. people can be altruistic and ethical, businesses are beholden only to the profit margin, it's not about individual businesses, it's literally the only precept of the capitalist system. the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.

Mark M.
mark M.3 years ago

Tom. Your experience makes you very cynical. Mine makes me slightly less so. Having managed a totally honest and ethical business for more than thirty years I can assure you some do exist. I have no doubt that Hobby Lobby does have altruistic ideals in its business policy and makes a serious attempt to live up to them.

Pam. You seem to think I am a supporter of the Green’s religious faith or have taken up a stance against contraception and/or abortion. If so you obviously have not read my previous contributions to this discussion. I repeat, I do not believe in God. I do believe that every woman should have free access to contraception and abortion. With regards to your last crack I promise you that I never for a moment lose sight of the possibility that I might be wrong. (There could be a real Deity somewhere behind everything, impossible though it seems to me.)
We all tend to have prejudices of one sort or another. One of mine is that I am against unnecessary, heavy handed state interference especially when it amounts to persecuting someone for acting on what they perceive to be Christian principles. I have yet to hear a rational contradictory argument but I am listening and ready to change if one turns up.

Sandra Lewis
Sandra Lewis3 years ago

The Green's "altruism" is highly suspect, since they earn their fortunes on the backs on the exploited women of China who live under the constant threat of forced abortions, corporal punishments, and death camps. That should not surprise anybody who is familiar with the history of any of the "good christian families" who had owned slaves or purchased indentured Irish servants not so long ago. To bandy about christianity as though it gives one carte blanche to determine the morals of others is itself a mortal sin. Yehushua would have you be more humble.

Sandra Lewis
Sandra Lewis3 years ago

Mark, irony is not silly. Our posts outline how far you can take the silliness of religious conscience when you apply it to other people. The bottom line is that you can only ever apply your religious conscience to yourself. That is also a part of the United States Constitution and is the Law of the Land.

As for the facts of the matter, the prescription medications are NOT abortion pills. An abortion occurs only when a fertilized egg that has already become IMPLANTED in the uterus is either spontaneously ejected by the woman's body or is deliberately removed. Prevention of implantation has never been a definition of abortion. Billions of fertilized eggs are naturally flushed away by a women's bodies every month because conditions are not right for implantation.

pam w.
pam w.3 years ago

Mark M. is subscribing to the simplistic "my way or the highway" kind of thinking so common among a few people here.

There is never just ONE solution to a problem, Mark.

Your religion is not my religion and should have no impact whatsoever upon anyone else's life.

Until you've actually faced an unwanted pregnancy, you can't begin to judge someone.

"Silly" is refusing to even consider the possiblilty that you might be wrong.

Tom Redfern
Tom R.3 years ago

"the amoral behavior of so many businesses..." is explained by the fact that this is literally how capitalism works, the profit motive being the only thing that matters. the Greens' "ethics and altruism"? just lol at that.