The arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby, which has a case pending before the United States Supreme Court under the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, invests a large portion of their employees 401(k) retirement plan in companies that provide abortions.
Molly Redden of Mother Jones reported that Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan invests $73 million in mutual funds in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs that are used in abortions.
Mother Jones reported “These companies include Teva Pharmaceuticals, 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.
Several funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan invest in Aetna and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception. All of the nine funds invested in, or about 75 percent of Hobby Lobby total plan assets, contained holdings that provide abortion or contraceptive services.
Hobby Lobby was founded in 1972 by David Green and is still owned by the Green Family. Based in Oklahoma City, part of their mission statement reads “Honoring the lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
Hobby Lobby has argued, due to their religious beliefs, they should not be mandated to cover abortion services or contraception in their employees health insurance. The supreme court is expected to rule on the case sometime this summer.
Hobby Lobby is not the only company to sue over the contraception issue. Conestoga Wood Specialties, headquartered in East Earl, PA, has also sued over the mandate of the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”
As reported by The Economist, the owners seek an exemption to the contraceptive mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute that Congress passed almost unanimously in 1993. This says that “government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability”, unless the law is the least restrictive way to further a compelling state interest.
The case is largely controversial. When arguments were first heard, women’s-rights supporters carried signs that said “Birth Control. Not My Boss’s Business”. Religious-liberty supporters prayed and held signs that said “Religious Freedom. Everyone’s Business.”