Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan invests in contraception companies

hobby lobbyYup, that Hobby Lobby. The company that’s taken their “deeply held” religious objection to contraception all the way to the Supreme Court. The company that thinks allowing their employees to get coverage for certain types of birth control through their insurance plans–plans, mind you, that the employees pay the premium on–amounts to subsidizing immorality. The company that pulls out the world’s smallest violin as it earnestly cries that Obamacare is “forcing them to violate the law or violate their belief that life begins at conception – a choice no company should have to make.”

Turns out that same Hobby Lobby has been offering “a generous company match” on an employee retirement plan that invests in the manufacturers of the very same contraception options it opposes so goddamn much. Mother Jones reports:

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 of Cytotec 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.

MoJo got the records for nine out of 24 of the funds in the retirement plan. Those nine funds make up three quarters of the plan’s total assets, and all of them included evil birth control/abortion companies. In 2012, Hobby Lobby contributed $3.8 million to the plan. Another fun fact? The company’s health insurance plans used to cover emergency contraception pills. They dropped them in 2012, which — totally coincidentally, I’m sure — happens to be when they decided to file a lawsuit against Obamacare.

As MoJo notes, not only is there no law forcing Hobby Lobby to invest in companies that peddle in baby-killing devices they abhor, there’s a fairly well-known and common practice called faith-based investing that allows religious investors to screen out companies they object to. “But Hobby Lobby’s managers either were not aware of these options or chose not to invest in them.” Or, to be fair, perhaps they just haven’t gotten around to it yet — after all, this “deeply held” belief of theirs seems to be all of two years old. I have belly button lint that is older and more dearly held.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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