Hobby Lobby's Retirement Plan Invests In Contraception Manufacturers
David Green, the CEO of Hobby Lobby, is so opposed to providing employees with health-care coverage that would pay for certain types of contraception that he has taken his taken case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But a recent story by Mother Jones reports that Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan holds $73 million in mutual funds that are invested in companies that produce the very types of contraception Green opposes.
“Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions,” Green wrote in a USA Today column last year. “Which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs.”
For the same reasons, Green is also opposed to covering intrauterine devices, a form of contraception that prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in the woman’s uterus.
Facing the prospect of having to pay $1.3 million in fines under the Affordable Care Act for not providing insurance to employees, Green challenged the law on religious grounds. The case is pending in the high court.
According to Department of Labor documents, filed by Hobby Lobby in December 2012, the company is heavily invested in producers of such contraception. The Department of Labor documents were filed three months after the lawsuit was filed.
The Mother Jones article details some of the companies in the retirement plan’s mutual funds. They include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which produces Plan B (a “morning-after” pill) and Paragard, a copper intrauterine device. Hobby Lobby is also invested in Actavis, the maker of a generic version of Plan B. Other funds in the retirement plan are invested in Aetna and Humana, two insurance companies that cover surgical abortions.
Options do exist for companies that want to invest money without supporting companies that produce so-called abortion drugs. The Timothy Plan and the Ave Maria Fund are two such options. Both of those plans screen for investments that may be questionable to “faith-based” investors. It is unclear why Hobby Lobby did not pursue such options.
Hobby Lobby and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group that provided the company’s representation in its legal battle, have not yet commented on the investments.