Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Pro-Life When Convenient

I come not to condemn Hobby Lobby, but to praise it.

The arts and crafts chain, which argued recently before the U.S. Supreme Court that because of religious beliefs it should not have to comply with the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, promotes on its website "online shopping, e-mail sign-up, projects & videos," and "your career."

Under "your career," the company promises "if you enjoy people and are goal-oriented, we are looking for you."  And, surprisingly, Hobby Lobby does, in a way, look out for its employees because it does not subjects its 401(k) employee retirement fund to a political test.   Molly Redden of Mother Jones has found

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 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.

These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer, the maker ofCytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer, which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla andMirena; AstraZeneca, which has an Indian subsidiary that 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 the Hobby Lobby retirement plan also invested in Aetna and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in many of the health care policies they sell.

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 notionthat 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. (Copper IUDs, which are also a form of birth control, can prevent implantation.) 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.

Of the 24 mutual funds included in the employer-sponsored retirement plan, Redden reports, nine- comprising $73 million, or three-fourths of the investments-  contained holdings that clashed with the Greens' stated religious principles, according to Redden.

That only runs consistent with the company's business model, which (as the video below makes clear) evidently emphasizes products imported from China, thereby improving the nation's trade balance.  Once known as Communist China, the country still is run with an iron fist by the Communist Party.  The regime implements a one-child policy which extensively promotes the practice of abortion which, cultural conservatives such as the Greens admonish us, ends a human life begun by God.

Hobby Lobby has no compunction against propping up a regime in Beijing which pressures women to have abortions.  Unacceptable, however, is providing American women, not with abortion coverage but with insurance enabling them to use the contraception that helps prevent abortion.

Profit reigns supreme. For Hobby Lobby, the bottom line is the bottom line.


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