That Hobby Lobby objects to abortion and birth control with one side of their face while cramming all the money they make from their 401(k) plans in the vasectomy-loving other is no surprise, but the numbers showing just how much, and just how extensive these investments go, is remarkable.
Three months after they filed their lawsuit, Hobby Lobby filed documents with the Department of Labor that show the company’s 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in the companies that produce the emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs that are used in abortions; they go so far as to make matching contributions to their company-sponsored 401(k), says Mother Jones.
According to Rick Ungar, writing for Forbes:
Redden (author of the Mother Jones article) additionally notes that, in a brief submitted to the Court in support of Hobby Lobby’s position in the case, the company specifically names contraceptive products such as Plan B, Ella, and IUDs as violating their religious beliefs because they work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus.
According to the Green family, interfering with an already fertilized egg is tantamount to abortion—an act unacceptable to the family and one they refuse to participate in no matter what the Affordable Care Act may require .
However, it turns out that the owners of Hobby Lobby do not appear to have any problem with profiting from the companies that manufacture the very products that so grievously offend their religious principles.
Ungar then goes on to cite a summation, with some of the figures in the Mother Jones reports:
These companies include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which makes Plan B and ParaGard, a copper IUD, and Actavis ACT +0.43%, which makes a generic version of Plan B and distributes Ella. Other holdings in the mutual funds selected by Hobby Lobby include Pfizer PFE +1.35%, the maker of Cytotec and Prostin E2, which are used to induce abortions; Bayer , which manufactures the hormonal IUDs Skyla and Mirena; AstraZeneca AZN +0.66%, 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 AET +1.21% and Humana, two health insurance companies that cover surgical abortions, abortion drugs, and emergency contraception in many of the health care policies they sell.
When taken all together, the nine funds that hold the investments ultimately involve three-quarters of the company’s 401(k) assets. And this isn’t by accident; as a company, they have an obligation to know what is sponsoring the 401(k) benefits of their employees, and there are plenty of opportunities for the retirement fund to invest in mutual funds that are specifically screened to avoid “religiously offensive” products — they just choose not to use them:
To avoid supporting companies that manufacture abortion drugs—or products such as alcohol or pornography—religious investors can turn to a cottage industry of mutual funds that screen out stocks that religious people might consider morally objectionable. The Timothy Plan and the Ave Maria Fund, for example, screen for companies that manufacture abortion drugs, support Planned Parenthood, or engage in embryonic stem cell research.
And no, this isn’t missing any key points either, as Ungar spells out:
Many have noted that, as a 401 (k) plan, the employees (not the Greens) are responsible for making the choices as to what investments their plan choses to participate in (via choosing among the choices provided) and, therefore, I am unfairly blaming the Greens.
First of all, where do you imagine the 401(k) comes from? Rather than falling from the sky like manna, the program is established and set up by management. And who is management? The Greens.
Once established, many of you point out that the program is run by an outside administrator. You are likely correct. Who do you imagine picks that outside administrator? Management. And who is management? The Greens.
Now, many are quick to point out that it is the outside administrator that chooses the funds that will be included in the 401(k) program. Right again. But who gives the administrator the marching orders and parameters as to what funds are acceptable Management. And who is management? The Greens.
And then many are all too fast to point out that the Greens are not benefitting and profiting from the 401(k) investments in the very products they went to SCOTUS to avoid having to provide based on their religious beliefs. Yo [sic] argue that it is the employees- not the Greens- who are benefitting. And yet, the Greens ARE employees and, as such, participate in the 401(k) program! While you seem to only view them as the shareholders of the corporation, you forget that they are also employed by the corporation in the most senior management positions! They are, as much as anyone else drawing a paycheck from Hobby Lobby, employees. thus, if the 401(k) is profiting, then the Greens are profiting. And with 75 percent of the funds included holding investments that would fail the Green’s religious test as stated in their SCOTUS brief, I’ll gladly take the bet from anyone who cares to wager that the Greens are not choosing some of these funds in their 401(k).
Finally, and my admitted favorite, some of you like to point out that these investments in companies that offend the Greens, per their SCOTUS case, are a tiny fraction of the total investment so why am I being so unfair to them? This is no doubt true. However, I never understood that the percentage of ownership would be dispositive of the issue of hypocrisy. If this is the case, then I really don’t understand why you are so upset about the provision of Obamacare that required Hobby Lobby to provide these contraceptive products to their employees via health insurance. Why? Because that provision is but a tiny fraction of the total impact and requirements of Obamacare! By your logic, it is therefore to be dismissed as no big deal.
As he says; Hobby Lobby is worthy only of contempt — and boycott.
More about Hobby Lobby from AATTP.
- Christian Taliban Hobby Lobby Doesn’t Want Doctors Even TALKING To Workers About Birth Control!
- Twitter Users Wage Hilarious War on Holier-Than-Thou Hobby Lobby Bigots!
- MUST SEE: Planned Parenthood’s Blistering Rebuke of Horrifying Hobby Lobby Attack on Women (Video)
- Maddow: Christian Segregationists Would be ‘Stunned’ and ‘Possibly Pleased’ By Hobby Lobby Ruling