On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City-based craft store giant Hobby Lobby will be facing the Supreme Court in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The issue at large? Whether or not Hobby Lobby (and 17 other corporations on board) can be exempted from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers must provide coverage for women’s health needs, including birth control, emergency contraception, and other reproductive health services. Hobby Lobby’s special snowflake reasoning? That providing coverage for basic health care goes against their religious beliefs.
The Green family (who owns Hobby Lobby) also want to ignore the second part of Obama’s provision in the ACA, stating that employers are required to “provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.” This means that if any of these employers are paying for a doctor visit, birth control and other reproductive health services cannot even be discussed. The patient will not be able to hear from a licensed medical professional on any of their options for what is normally considered basic health care.
There’s a lot here that doesn’t quite line up. First of all, how on earth do they plan to enforce that? Will our doctors need to be miked during exams? Second, this goes against every foundational reason for informed consent, precisely what Clare Coleman, the president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, called the “bedrock” of modern medical ethics in a piece published this week at ThinkProgress. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, then patients will be forced to pay for a doctor’s visit out-of-pocket if they wish to discuss anything remotely related to birth control (or for that matter, anything the Greens don’t like). Translation? The ThinkProgress piece puts it this way: They’ll essentially have to choose between a potential financial burden or a potential health burden.”
Under the ACA, Hobby Lobby faces huge financial levies for every day it refuses to provide coverage for its employees. According to CNN, Hobby Lobby — which employs roughly 13,000 workers — could rack up a penalty of $475 million a year for noncompliance. Could this case be actually more about the fines rather than personal religious beliefs?
And while we’re talking money, let’s not ignore how much we’ve saved by funding basic reproductive health care. As found by the Guttmacher Institute:
By helping women avoid unintended pregnancies, public funding for contraceptive services in 2010 resulted in net public savings of $10.5 billion ($5.3 billion of which is attributable to services provided at Title X clinics), or $5.68 for every dollar spent providing contraceptive care.
Or perhaps the religious justification is just another sham cover-up as well. “This debate over letting employees use their insurance plans to buy birth control… isn’t about any real Bible-based beliefs on abortion at all,” writes Erin Gloria Ryan, over at Jezebel. “It’s based on the notion that women having and enjoying sex is wrong, unless they’re married and constantly open to pregnancy.”
If you’re a crafter who would prefer not to subsidize Hobby Lobby’s misogynist approach to benefits, fear not! We have scoured the Internet and looked into benefits packages to compile a list of major local and non-local craft-supplies-carrying companies who are not attaching their names to Hobby Lobby’s foolish lawsuit, and don’t feel so entitled to take away basic health care benefits from their employees for reasons that are ambiguous at best.
Here are our #HobbyLobbyFree Crafting Alternatives:
Artist and Craftsman Supply
University of Washington Bookstore
So Much Yarn
and the ever popular Urban Craft Uprising.
For literally all of your crafting needs. We’re really not sure what else you might need or want that you can’t find in one of these non women-hating stores. Turns out it’s easy to go #HobbyLobbyFree!