Hobby Lobby is so offended by the idea of contributing to its employees' birth control expenses that it fought all the way to the Supreme Court over the issue. But its retirement plan has over $73M sunk into funds that include companies that make contraception.
The company made the investments in mutual funds that include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Actavis, Pfizer, Forest Laboratories, Aetna and Humana three months after it filed its lawsuit. The companies in their portfolio make contraceptive pills, abortion drugs, IUDs, and provide surgical abortions and emergency contraception. The funds comprise three quarters of Hobby Lobby's overall portfolio.
In a brief filed with the Supreme Court, the Greens object to covering Plan B, Ella, and IUDs because they claim that these products can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus—a process the Greens consider abortion. But researchers reject the notion that emergency contraceptive pills prevent implantation the implantation of a fertilized egg. Instead, they work by delaying ovulation or making it harder for sperm to swim to the egg. The Green's contention that the pills cause abortions is a central pillar of their argument for gutting the contraception mandate. Yet, for years, Hobby Lobby's health insurance plans did cover Plan B and Ella. It was only in 2012, when the Greens considered filing a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, that they dropped these drugs from the plan.
A website Hobby Lobby set up to answer questions about the Supreme Court case states that its 401(k) plan comes with "a generous company match." In 2012, Hobby Lobby contributed $3.8 million to its employee savings plans, which had 13,400 employee participants at the beginning of that year.
Hobby Lobby's Hypocrisy: The Company's Retirement Plan Invests in Contraception Manufacturers [Molly Redden/Mother Jones]
(Image: Wal-Mart (now Hobby Lobby) Fayetteville, NC, Mike Kalasnik, CC-BY)