Central View: The facts about the Hobby Lobby decision

Bill Hamilton
Central View

It appears Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Hillary Clinton must not have read all 95 pages of the decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, Inc. If you read Justice Ginsberg’s dissent, you find that she thinks that Hobby Lobby, Inc. is opposed to contraception.

In fact, Hobby Lobby has no objection to 16 different methods of contraception and willingly pays its portion of employee insurance plans that include those 16 methods of contraception.

But for religious reasons, the Green family, who founded Hobby Lobby, refuses to pay for four methods of abortion that the so-called Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) wants Hobby Lobby to pay for. Last week, the Supreme Court agreed with Hobby Lobby.

Immediately, the left-leaning media seized upon the misapprehension of Justice Ginsberg and started pushing the idea that Hobby Lobby is trying to deny all women, whether they work for Hobby Lobby or not, access to all methods of contraception. Hillary Clinton added to her reputation for being careless with the facts by saying, “It’s very troubling that a salesclerk at Hobby Lobby who needs contraception, which is pretty expensive, is not going to get that service through her employer’s health-care plan because her employer doesn’t think she should be using contraception.”

So, who are the Greens? According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby was started in “… founder David Green’s garage and has grown from one 300-square-foot store to more than 550 stores across the country, becoming one of the nation’s leading arts and crafts retailers.

“Devout Christians, the Green family believes that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. Therefore, the Greens seek to honor God by operating their company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.

“Believing their employees should have the opportunity to spend Sundays with their families; the company is closed on Sundays and only operates 66 hours per week. Indeed, the Greens strive to apply the Christian teachings on respect and fairness to their employees, increasing the pay of Hobby Lobby’s full- and part-time hourly workers for four years in a row. Full-time hourly workers now start at 90 percent above the federal minimum wage.

“The Green family has no moral objection to the use of 16 of 20 preventive contraceptives required in the [ObamaCare] mandate, and Hobby Lobby will continue its long-standing practice of covering these preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family cannot provide or pay for four potentially life-threatening drugs and devices. These drugs include Plan B and Ella, the so-called morning-after pill and the week-after pill. Covering these drugs and devices would violate their deeply held religious belief that life begins at the moment of conception, when an egg is fertilized…

“The Green family respects the religious convictions of all Americans, including those who do not agree with them. All they are asking is that the government give them the same respect by not forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.”

Clearly, the Hobby Lobby decision is about abortion, not contraception. That brings to mind the late Democrat Senator Patrick Moynihan who said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame.

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