Mother Jones report: Hobby Lobby retirement fund invests millions in contraceptive manufacturers


Debate continues to rage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell  v. Hobby Lobby, issued Monday. But Mother Jones uncovered some interesting information that makes the “closely held” company’s hypocrisy months ago.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Monday  says that for-profit businesses in which at least 50 percent of stock is held by five or fewer people, such as family-owned businesses, are exempt from requirements in the Affordable Health Care Act that they cover certain kinds of contraception for their female employees in their health benefits packages. The owners of Hobby Lobby, David Green and family, claimed that having to cover such contraceptives for female Hobby Lobby employees violated their personal religions beliefs against abortion.

But as Mother Jones points out in its article, posted online back in April:

“Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012 — three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit — show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

“Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have stock holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.”

—  Tammye Nash

The GOP and the compartmentalization of dignity

There are historians (and I know some personally) who will argue that the “cause” of the U.S. Civil War was not slavery: It was economics.

“Oh, yes, there were some abolitionists who sincerely were opposed to slavery,” the line goes. “But they were the tools of the industrial North, which wanted to destroy cheap labor in the South.” The proof? After the war, the Northern carpetbaggers came and forever changed the face of the nation, especially in the South.

Some others will argue it wasn’t about slavery or economics — it was about states’ rights.

Let’s concede for a moment that true abolitionists were a small minority and were manipulated by Northern robber-barons for their own purposes. Even so, you know who the Civil War remained “about slavery” to? The slaves. Economy, states’ rights… Pfftt! Fact is, when the war ended, the Constitution was amended to give an entire class of Americans rights guaranteed to them that they had never been given, despite being human beings. Before the Civil War, one man could own another in this country; after, they could not. That’s a big deal.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones