Hobby Lobby CEO Files Lawsuit

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

hobby-lobbyOklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby’s founder and CEO David Green has filed a lawsuit challenging the health care mandate to provide what Green “believe[s] are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.” Green goes on to say: “Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill.”

The District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied Green’s motion for a preliminary injunction The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit denied the applicants’ motion for an injunction and Justice Sotomayor also denied the application for an injunction pending appellate review.

Are Green’s beliefs regarding the morning-after pill (Plan B) or the week-after pill (Ella) reasonable?

Green never defined what he means by “abortion,” but let’s assume he uses the Christian definition that seeks to equate pregnancy with fertilization. The scientific and medical definition of pregnancy comes from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and states:

implantation of the blastocyst into the lining of the uterus at the conclusion of which pregnancy is established.

Plan B works by impeding the sperm from entering the uterus by thickening cervical mucus. Plan B can also stop the release of an egg from the ovaries or slow down the movement of the egg. These methods could prevent fertilization. Some have argued that Plan B creates a “hostile endometrium” that disrupts implantation. However, Dr. Sandra Reznik writes in Health Progress, a publication of The Catholic Health Association of the United States, that if Plan B:

involved a change in the endometrium, then one would expect a higher rate of success [in preventing pregnancy]. … Taken together, there are biological, clinical and epidemiological data clearly indicating that Plan B’s mechanism of action involves only pre-fertilization events.

Ella is a newer drug with a chemical composition similar to RU-486. However, in studies, two percent of women who took Ella became pregnant. This failure rate indicates that Ella does not have RU-486’s effect on the endometrium.

Regarding normal birth control pills, that is, non-emergency contraceptives, even Prolife Ob/Gyn’s can find no evidence of the pill’s effect on implantation. The Prolife Ob/Gyn’s note that if the pill is an abortifacient, “we would expect to see a huge increase in ectopics in women on hormonal birth control. We don’t.” They go on to say that we “know of no existing scientific studies that validate the “hostile endometrium is abortifacient” theory.”

Even by his definition of what constitutes a pregnancy, Green’s beliefs that contraceptives are “abortion causing” are nonsense.

H/T: National Catholic Reporter, Rachel Benson Gold, Religious Tolerance.

52 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby CEO Files Lawsuit”

  1. I can add nothing more to what Justice Holmes and Nal wrote other than to support their views.

    Mr Hobby Lobby is perfectly free to file his lawsuit and has done so. I am perfectly free to boycott Hobby Lobby’s three stores here in Ohio. I am also perfectly free to recommend to my family, friends, and neighbors that they consider boycotting Hobby Lobby. There are, after all, several craft stores within easy driving distance from any Hobby Lobby location … no hardship.

  2. Let me add a thought w/o reading the whole stack. BTW Nal, great work, as usual. 🙂

    The farmer sows his field expecting to harvest. If someone else pulls up the crop, does he have a right to complain???

    Women are walking fields, bought or not, to be plowed. (Weird we use that word. Freudian slip by men?). Unconditional harvest has been traditional, during peaceful times . Changed by Roe vs Wade??? Apparently not.

    Is this human? I think not.

  3. The question is not about the cherry picking (no pun intended) as far as birth control pills are concerned. The question is to abide by the law which requires comprehensive health insurance from the businesses. By law, Mr. Green is supposed to have the fire hydrants in his Hobby Lobby shops in order to do business. He can not refuse them on religious grounds declaring that in case of fire, only the non believers will burn in the fire of hell and the Christians like him will walk out unscathed.

    Secondly, as a Christian he must believe in Freewill which means Free Choice. One other thing, these fundies confuse themselves by not understanding that free choice does not mean Pro Abortion.

    Lastly, this god of theirs is the biggest abortionist ever existed. All miscarriages happen because of this ALL powerful deity who wants them to. So, it is OK for them to praise their Evil god (Isaiah 45:7), while he is aborting all these fetuses and refuse to pay for any protection.

    PS: Life starts at erection.

  4. There is no right to LASIK surgery. Contraception, birth control and abortion relate to the basic human right to procreate or not. It is not the same as deciding to wear glasses or not. You and I both know that Hobby Lobyy doesn’t care about what Christ would say about contraception. mr. Hobby Lobby wants to save more money and make more money. If he wins this one, there is no telling what labor law or other law he will claim violates his religious sensibilities.

    Whether or to engage in human sacrifice relates to the victim’s right to life. If your religion requires human sacrifice should you be allowed an exemption from laws forbidding homicide?

    Religious exemptions from generally applicable laws are wrong. Unfortunately, churches have been able to avoid rules against discrimination and other labor laws.

    My insurance payments help pay for erectile dysfunction drugs which are used by many to engage in inappropriate sexual activity. I believe that is immoral and against my religion. May I sue and win to stop paying for ED drugs? Should I?

    My tax dollars help fund wars that violate my religious beliefs, can I be exempted from paying income taxes?

    I am forced to pay for the religious activities of churches and religious entitys with which I disagree through tax exemptions and grants to these entities. Does it matter that my church views these religions as heresy and views support of them as a sin? May I be exempted from paying taxes?

    If churches don’t want their members to have abortions or use contraceptives, they should teach them not to do so. If Mr. HL doesn’t want to use contraceptives he shouldn’t. If doesn’t want an abortion, he shouldn’t have one. His objection to a generally applicable law whose focus is providing health care is quite franky not credible but credible or not he should lose.

  5. Hobby Lobby selling condoms? I guess some folks consider sex a hobby and there are lots of things that are sold for that hobbyist, but Hobby Lobby leans more toward arts and crafts.

    The government isn’t suggesting that Mr. Green, individual, use any of the items that he’s objecting to. The government is suggesting that Mr. Green, employer, follow the law that all similar employers are required to follow. As Nal points out, this isn’t even an abortion issue, but I doubt that Mr. Green understands that.

  6. Steve Fleischer:

    Extend to Mr. Green the same courtesy you expect.

    I did. I would consider it a great courtesy if someone would argue that my beliefs have no basis in reality. I extended that courtesy to Mr. Green.

  7. This is where or “wear” the rubber meets the road. Do they sell condoms? Can someone verify that for the blog?
    Those who boycott the store could probably put them out of business. The strip mall needs another tenant. Someone who does not lobby for a hobby or who does not post their prayers in the lobby. Or cross dress like that holly priest.
    Dont buy anything Kosher from them, it will be contaminated. Dont buy their Bibles, they are from Sears Roebuck and omit the Sixth Commandment. Dont buy their bicycles, the wheels fall off on right turns.

  8. Mike Spindell:

    the issue isnt the economy but whether the government has a right to legislate morality.

    Communist China forces abortion with their one child rule. And some day they may force parents to abort male children because of the shortage of female children.

    I am against abortion but I am also against the state having anything to do with it. What the state gives the state can take away. You force Green to provide contraception and abortion to his employers today and tomorrow when government swings the other way he will force your daughters to carry their pregnancy to full term.

    Each way of thinking is a violation of individual rights.

  9. I think that the government should not be involved in a persons decision to choose. The bottom line is that this is between the person and whatever god that they have if any….

    I wonder if Hobby Lobby calculated the risk of filing in this circuit knowing that Sotomoyer would have final say for an appeal of this nature…..

    A little known fact: a Supreme Court judge assigned to a particular circuit may sit on cases assigned to that circuit. If the chief judge of that circuit happens to be presiding on the same case, the Sct judge becomes the chief judge….. Unless of course they changed it…. Another fact, if a federal judge retires after reaching the requisite age they retire at the same salary they were making at the time of retirement…..

  10. It’s about time some intelligent prophet founded a religion that opposes early detection or treatment for prostate cancer so that any insurance companies that pay physicians to prescribe these ungodly witches’ brews can be stopped in their tracks. Then lets see some lawsuits.

  11. What Bron said. And in case you didn’t read it…

    in a free society he should have every right to do this. And in a free society an individual would decide to work or not work for Hobby Lobby based on their individual conscience.

    Or they could purchase their abortifactants and birth control out of their own pockets. Abortion and birth control are private issues which should be left up to the individual. Government has no place in determining an individuals personal morality.

    For all you morons who will say well government prevents murder so it does determine individual morality, no what government does is protect individual rights of actual human beings. Or at least it should.

    And so the president of Hobby Lobby should have the right to provide the kind of insurance he wants for his employees and his employees have the right to work or not work for Hobby Lobby.

    If you dont like it, go out and start the Hobby Hanger and provide all the birth control and abortifactants you want.

  12. “The tone of your column suggests that in another time, you might have been a witch burner.

    I suspect that that there are a fair number of people who would like to shut you up.

    Extend to Mr. Green the same courtesy you expect.”

    Steve Fleisher,

    To many, including myself, Green’s actions are an attempt to impose his religious beliefs upon his employees. Besides that I suspect that Mr. Green knows his customer base ad this is part of a marketing ploy. Anti-Abortionists, such as yourself perhaps, believe that their non-universal religious beliefs take precedence over a woman’s control of her body. My own religious beliefs are that life begins at birth, as are those of may other religious people many who are Christians. The anti-abortionists, like Green are trying to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of this country. I’m sure Mr. Drumm has no intention of not allowing Mr. Green to believe what he believes, it is when he tries to impose upon his employees his religious views by refusing to comply with a mandated health insurance policy, that he crosses the line. Employees,
    especially in these hard economic times are generally not able to freely bargain their rights with their employers. Green thus imposes his beliefs and prejudices onto his employees, which to me is the mark of a bully. Being such he doesn’t deserve to be treated with respect.

    As far as there being a fair number of people who would like to shut up those opposed to the anti-abortion movement, I agree that is true. The murders, violence and coercion exercised by the anti-abortionists are all factually documented and the reality is that this movement is extremely coercive and for that alone does not deserve respect.

  13. The tone of your column suggests that in another time, you might have been a witch burner.
    =========================================================

    one small step for man, one giant leap for wtf

  14. Mr. Drumm:

    You have the right to your opinion; so does Mr. Green.

    The tone of your column suggests that in another time, you might have been a witch burner.

    I suspect that that there are a fair number of people who would like to shut you up.

    Extend to Mr. Green the same courtesy you expect.

  15. Refusing to provide contraception in a health care policy is not the same as human sacrifice. I dont have Lasik surgery as a benefit in my policy. I also dont have coverage for some types of medical equipment.

    Contraception is a right and so are Lasik surgery and abortion but that doesnt mean you get it for free or as part of an insurance policy provided by an employer. Except maybe in a totalitarian state where morality is mandated by executive order.

    In a free society there would be multiple, competing insurance carriers offering a multitude of customized policies tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

  16. Sorry, Hobby Lobby….. you can’t sue because your imaginary Ghod made you out of Feces……….

  17. When people can argue that their religious beliefs absolve them from following the law, can a law suit arguing that laws that prohibit human sacrifice for religious reasons be far away? There are members of religions that claim that their religion requires honor killings and genital cutting. Shall we say oh, ok. Its religion go ahead murder and torture as much as you want in the name of god.

    No exemptions for religious entities should be permitted from any laws including most importantly the tax laws.

  18. “Even by his definition of what constitutes a pregnancy, Green’s beliefs that contraceptives are “abortion causing” are nonsense.”
    ===========================================
    That could have something to do with his having lost the case all along the way so far.

    Let’s hope so.

    He is willing to spend the big bucks on legal and factual nonsense, but not a penny to allow women to make their own personal choice.

  19. in a free society he should have every right to do this. And in a free society an individual would decide to work or not work for Hobby Lobby based on their individual conscience.

    Or they could purchase their abortifactants and birth control out of their own pockets. Abortion and birth control are private issues which should be left up to the individual. Government has no place in determining an individuals personal morality.

    For all you morons who will say well government prevents murder so it does determine individual morality, no what government does is protect individual rights of actual human beings. Or at least it should.

    And so the president of Hobby Lobby should have the right to provide the kind of insurance he wants for his employees and his employees have the right to work or not work for Hobby Lobby.

    If you dont like it, go out and start the Hobby Hanger and provide all the birth control and abortifactants you want.

  20. Yesterday, on Democracy Now!

    Criminalizing Pregnancy: As Roe v. Wade Turns 40, Study Finds Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/18/criminalizing_pregnancy_as_roe_v_wade

    A new study shows hundreds of women in the United States have been arrested, forced to undergo unwanted medical procedures, and locked up in jails or psychiatric institutions, because they were pregnant. National Advocates for Pregnant Women found 413 cases when pregnant women were deprived of their physical liberty between 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, and 2005. At least 250 more interventions have taken place since then. In one case, a court ordered a critically ill woman in Washington, D.C., to undergo a C-section against her will. Neither she nor the baby survived. In another case, a judge in Ohio kept a woman imprisoned to prevent her from having an abortion. We’re joined by Lynn Paltrow, founder and executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. “We’ve had cases where lawyers have been appointed for a fetus before the woman herself, who’s been locked up, ever gets a lawyer,” Paltrow says. “[We’ve had] cases where they’ve ordered a procedure over women’s religious objections. And one court said pregnant women of course have a right to religious freedom — unless it interferes with what we believe is best for the fetus or embryo.” The new study comes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision on the right to abortion — a right that has been under siege ever since.

    YNN PALTROW: Well, we knew that these cases existed. We’ve had the opportunity to talk about them. But they’re often seen as sort of rare and isolated. And, in fact, when we brought up these cases in response to proposed personhood measures that would authorize the states to treat fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as if they’re entirely separate from the pregnant woman; when we said, “Look, this is going to be used to arrest women who have had miscarriages and still-births. This is going to be used to surveil pregnant women. It’s going to do much more than just, as they claim, end the injustice of abortion,” and they said, “That’s just scare tactics” — so we said, “OK, let’s look at what’s going on.”

    And what we found when we sought to actually document cases is we found 413 cases between 1973 and 2005, after Roe was decided. We picked that period so we know the outcome of the cases. We know, from evidence we got, that there were many more of those cases, but we weren’t—we know because sometimes we were advising women who were, in South Dakota, taken into custody on suspicion of pregnancy, to protect the unborn child from her drinking, for example. What we found were their arrests, incarcerations, as you said, in prisons and jails, forced medical interventions. And some of these cases, we hadn’t heard about, and even surprised us—a case where a woman was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, something that occurs during pregnancy. She didn’t comply with the orders for secondary follow-up testing, so they got a civil—they civilly committed her in the hospital, and they said she wasn’t—she was examined. She wasn’t insane. She wasn’t a danger to herself. But because they claimed that her mental health situation didn’t enable her to go for needed prenatal testing, they could keep her locked up in the hospital. And one of the things we also found is that when those kinds of things happen, it doesn’t mean that the woman or the baby is protected. She was locked in that hospital, and they never did the gestational testing.

    But I think part of what we found, too, is, all of this, we sort of talk about it in a language that’s very familiar for the last 40 years: Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion, the criminalization of pregnancy. But what we really learned is that what’s at stake is the personhood of pregnant women, that when you look at what happened in these cases—women deprived of their physical liberty; the case you mentioned, Angela Carter, deprived of her right to life—they’re deprived of due process of law. Women are put in jail and have decisions about forced surgery made in the course of an afternoon. That’s basic due process rights. We’ve had cases where lawyers have been appointed for a fetus before the woman herself, who’s been locked up, ever gets a lawyer; cases where they’ve ordered a procedure over women’s religious objections. And one court said pregnant women of course have a right to religious freedom—unless it interferes with what we believe is best for the fetus or embryo.

    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even here in a liberal bastion like New York City, a recent report that more than a dozen city hospitals were routinely testing pregnant women for drugs without informing them about it.

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