I Can’t Stop Thinking About the Women Who Work at Hobby Lobby

This is what the SCOTUS decision means for them, right now.



When I first made the decision to start taking birth control, I didn’t have insurance. I was working at my first post-college job as a part-time editor and supplementing my income as a salesclerk on the weekends at Franklin Mills Mall. Between both jobs, I earned about $1,200 each month. The pills my doctor prescribed cost me about $85 a month, which I paid out of pocket for more than a year before I finally got healthcare through work.

Under my insurance coverage, the pill cost me about $15. The first time I picked it up from the pharmacy, I teared up when I realized I didn’t have put my contraception on my credit card.

For a long time, that’s the way it worked for me: I paid 15 bucks a month to stay fetus-free and I was happy about it.

But a year ago, birth control started to give me some problems. It darkened patches of my skin on my face, neck and torso. Instead of a manageable PMS headache, I would find myself bed-bound for days with migraines. I had gastrointestinal issues and I started gaining weight that I couldn’t lose no matter what I ate or how many miles I ran on the treadmill. Sometimes, my emotions were so out of whack that I would find myself crying over a missed bus. It also killed my sex drive, making it doubly effective: Not only was I unable to get pregnant because of the hormones pumping through my bloodstream, I was also repulsed by the thought of getting laid.

After consulting my doctor, I quit the pill and didn’t look back.

Then, a few weeks ago, my doctor recommended a different brand of birth control that she thought could work for me. When the time came to pick up my prescription, I remember steeling myself for the price. When I was told that under Obamacare, my pills were free, I whooped out loud and made the pharmacist high five me in the middle of CVS.

I remember thinking how far the world had come in just a few years.

I’m not writing this because I have a burning desire to share how I manage my reproductive system. Or because I want to rail against the potential side effects of birth control pills. Or even to tout the real-life impact of Obamacare on the life of a young woman.

I’m writing this because I think it’s important for people to understand that making the decision to take a birth control pill or get an IUD or get fitted for a diaphragm isn’t a choice that any woman makes lightly. There are side effects and responsibilities, both fiscal and personal. For many women, finding a birth control is not just about picking the option that’s most appealing or most affordable. It’s about finding the method that allows you to be functional in your day-to-day existence.

This week, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, thus making it acceptable for for-profit employers with religious objections to opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare. (It’s worth noting that according to Time magazine, Hobby Lobby currently objects to paying for morning-after pills and intrauterine devices — not necessarily birth control pills. Though, there’s no way to tell how their policies will evolve now that this ruling has been made.)

There are plenty of reasons why this ruling sets an appalling precedent in the way our government allows women to be treated — but that’s not what I’ve been thinking about since the announcement was made on Tuesday. The thing I can’t get out of my head is the women who work for Hobby Lobby right now.

In the average workplace, women have a lot of battles to fight. We’re leaning in and banning bossy in effort overcome the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) sexism that exists in so many offices and corporations. While websites all across the Internet are talking about the impact this SCOTUS decision has on women across the country, I can’t stop thinking about those women employed by Hobby Lobby, the women who might have to pay $85 a month for birth control that could give them migraines or make them weep on the bus.

Maybe those women would benefit from IUDs that they now can’t afford. Or maybe Hobby Lobby will take this ruling and change their coverage plans to be more limiting. There’s no way to know how detrimental this ruling will be to these women and women across the country.

And suddenly, it doesn’t seem like the world has come very far at all.

Follow @errrica on Twitter.

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  • liberal hater

    Dear dumb one! you have proven once again how ignorant and low info you and the lame stream media are! This Court ruling affected the pills that induce abortion you uniformed left wing low info p o s garbage who wants everything paid for by the government! How dare you press your views on here! Get a life you liberal p o s!

    • southofsouth

      Hey liberal hater — In fact, it’s YOU who has proven ignorance. The Hobby Lobby decision affected specific forms of birth control that includes the IUD. The IUD is NOT an abortifacient. The religious right relies on studies and information from — and this is not an exaggeration — 40+ years ago to make this argument. If you would like to educate yourself, feel free to read any story from this Google search: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=how%20does%20the%20IUD%20work

      • liberal hater

        Here is a novel idea for you. Try keeping your legs shut if you do not want a kid then or try filling your dresser up with all those battery operated toys if you really want to get off! so sick and tired of the lousy winey liberals crying and complaining about every little thing that they get offended about ! wha wha wha!

      • Laura

        The IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. That is interfering with pregnancy. Once an egg is fertilized it is a live human being based on 2 irrefutable facts. One, humans only conceive humans, not kittens or puppies, making it human. Two, it is alive because it’s growing. Dead things don’t grow, thus making a fertilized egg a live human being. You’re the one that is incorrect. While I hesitate to agree with anyone named liberal hater, I must in this instance.

        • Rachael

          The IUD is also progestin containing in this case. Progestins do not prevent implantation of an egg once it’s fertilized. The particular IUD Mirena has been approved by the FDA for treatment of mennorhagia. So that is one treatment option for a debilitating disease in woman that is not available.

      • Mike

        Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?

    • Rachael

      I’m sorry but when does the CEO of Hobby Lobby have knowledge about what progestins do or not do. In every single list of abortifacients-progestins are NOT on the list-as a matter of fact progestins cannot prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Right now I’d suggest that you engage brain and stop taking medical knowledge from a craft store.

      • Mike


  • Charliefoxtrot

    I can’t stop thinking that the author literally knows no one with religious conviction, and can’t see past her Team Blue blinders (as evidenced by her idiotic parroting of #banbossy hashtag “activism” in the posting).

    Hobby Lobby literally has no duty to pay for your birth control or to pay to get your gutters cleaned, car wash, or dental cleanings.
    Besides which, had you read the ruling, the state will pick up the tab for HL employees anyway, as Scalia pointed out.

    I look forward to your thoughts on the French burqa ban in public places, since apparently according to feminists the state has unlimited rights to trample on religious expression.

    • southofsouth

      I look forward to your thoughts when the precedent set in this case is used by shop owners who, for instance, have religious aversions to desegregation or homosexuality. As Justice Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, this is a very real threat moving forward because of the way this case was decided.

      • Charliefoxtrot

        Ginsburg cites obscure Old World Amish case, and a desegregation case from the 60’s, reaching absurdly to make a point. Or do you feel the nation is dotted with closely held corps brimming with employees and dying to discriminate against gays and blacks? It’s silly.

        First of all, while I’m not religious at all, I’d like to think a nation founded on religious liberty would permit such (odious) behavior, in the same manner as the Klan being able to march as a 1st Amendment right-so I’m not going to agree with her in the least-any business openly refusing to desegregate will close on its own, or refusing to hire gays etc.

        Also, this applies only to corps with 5 or more members, not Walmart type corps, so the amount of discrimination alledged here is tiny, compared to, say, Obama’s decrees that catholic hospitals must perform duties that are clearly discriminatory. After all, unlike the women at Hobby Lobby, who are free to pay $9 a month at Walmart and target for birth control, they aren’t given any options.

        • John Steele

          Right, because racism, sexism and sexual orientation discrimination are over. Good call. Also, “Closely-held corporations” include corps with over 100,000 employees

          • Charliefoxtrot

            Oh, did I say they were over? Why, no, I did not. Why there are many closely held corps bigger than 100k employees, a tiny percentage of board members would ALL vote to enact the silliness Ginsburg proposes…..could you name some Old Order Amish corporations likely to fire gays or refuse to hire black people?

            And you missed the part where I mentioned the outcry from this silly hypothetical would cripple any business in your insistence that A New Dark Ages Is Now Upon Us.

            I mean, you guys pretty much burned the wedding photographer couple who didn’t want to do a gay wedding at the stake, for the equivalent of a Jewish person not eating pork……

          • Gaunt Dusk

            I look forward to the day that we faith healers can stop providing medical care to our employees, which we obviously can. Don’t those people know that we aren’t obligated to provide them health care at all? God will fix their medical problems, He always has and if they die, they didn’t pray enough.

            Seriously, if you can get red of one, you can get rid of something else, if you can get rid of enough then you can get rid of it all together. Scientologist companies could with this ruling, ban psychological help since they believe psychology is a lie.
            What about jewish employers? Could this extend to them banning their employees using electricity on the sabbath? Jehovahs Witnesses who disapprove of blood transfusions? Come on!

          • Charliefoxtrot

            No, the decision is a narrow ruling on a specific issue. It’s not carte blanche to do whatever the employer wants. Two time Obama voter Megan Mcardle explains:


    • Natalie S.

      What about for profit organizations owned by Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists? Would people be more upset if those companies were religiously opposed to allowing their employees to have blood transfusions or antidepressants covered by the insurance they provide. What if Jew-owned companies wanted to say their insurance should not cover any medicine that uses pig products? People would be pissed that a company was deciding on what medical treatment an employee can get or making it so employees can’t afford necessary medical treatment.

      Birth control is not an optional extravagance. For some people it is medically necessary. It is prescribed for skin issues, irregularities in hormones and preventing fibroids and other painful growths in their uterus. It has been decided companies do have a duty to provide health coverage and that health coverage includes all kinds of other prescriptions (even including Viagra). Birth control should be no different

      Hobby Lobby is not paying for a woman’s birth control. They are contributing to a health insurance plan (that presumably the employees also contribute to) that provides birth control just as it does any prescription and even vasectomies that provide the same result but are for men (how is that not a part of the conversation?). It is likely the cost for Hobby Lobby would not even change whether or not they cover certain types of birth control.

      • Charliefoxtrot

        I think folks have a right to seek employment at a place who’s benefit packages align with their own values, in the same way that religious biz owners who pay for their employees HC voluntarily have a say in what gets paid for. Seems equitable to me.

        I’m not remotely religious, but the outrage you feel at the handful of women “denied” here is EXACTLY how a religious person would feel about paying for abortifacients.

  • GT12

    I don’t understand the hubbub on this. If you don’t like they’re stance, don’t work for them? It would be like getting an NFL contract within the last 5 years and then complaining about concussions. You know you’re going to get a concussion at some point, you can’t blame your employer because you’re bouncing your head off other players heads. You know what you’re getting yourself into. I’m guessing Hobby Lobby didn’t all of a sudden become a christian based store.

  • Jan D

    I don’t agree with their policies but shouldn’t a company have the freedom to follow their convictions (as long as their not illegal or immoral)? Should the government force Chick-Fil-A to open on Sundays because someone wants a sandwich? Again, I don’t agree with some of the ultra-conservative positions these companies take but it seems to me they have the right to do so, especially since it can be demonstrated that they are grounded on their religious beliefs.

    • John Steele

      It is not about abortion. The vast majority of IUDs are used to prevent bleeding during pregnancy, protecting the health of women. It is THE SAME as Jahova’s Witness corporations refusing to cover blood transfusions.

      • CervezaJen™

        It is not used for that. No doctor in their right mind would insert an IUD in a pregnant woman. Seriously? This is why men need to stay out of the birth control debate or get educated. I’ve corrected quite a few men today on their serious misinformation regarding birth control.

        • John Steele

          This is embarrassing, I meant to say periods (menstruation) and I wrote pregnancy. Isn’t it true that IUDs have risen in popularity because of their ability to curb heavy menstrual bleeding?

          • CervezaJen™

            Ok. Well. They say it does but every woman is different. I had an IUD. It sucked. I cramped the day it was inserted and the day after. It made my periods heavier plus I never trusted it and it doesn’t protect against STDs so always used condoms too. Not the best form of birth control but that’s just my opinion. Then I cramped for 2 days when it was removed. As a medical professional, I personally think the pill is better at controlling periods and bleeding. I liked that you could use it to skip your period. The pill you can get in generic form for less than $10 a month without insurance at Walmart and Target pharmacies. Catholics have never believed in birth control of any form. I’m not sure why everyone is so upset. It’s their belief. Like the Amish don’t believe in electricity and Pentecostals don’t believe in women wearing pants. I worked for a Christian owned business. Jesus music played on every radio and the boss lectured you if he heard you were drinking beer in your off time. I left the job. It’s just the way it is.

          • Rachael

            The progestin levonorgestrel which is in the Mirena IUD is the target of objection by the Hobby Lobby CEO. Mirena is indicated for use in the treatment of menorrhagia, a disorder that causes extremely heavy menstrual bleeding which is also very debilitating. Levonorgestrel, the active ingredient in Plan B seems to be the progestin that Hobby Lobby targeted. Misinformed the CEO believes that this progestin is actually an abortifacient. The issue is cavaet emptor: let the buyer beware what the Green family and many religious fundamentalists are trying to ‘sell’ about their supposed knowledge concerning medicine. I really don’t shop at hobby Lobby anyway-they didn’t carry anything that I would buy.

          • Mike

            A CEO misinformed?! Why don’t you start a company and implement your own policies if you don’t like it. Oh wait, you’re not informed enough to run a company of that size, or any size for that matter!

          • Rachael

            Then please go to him for ALL your medical needs. I don’t mind at all.

          • Mike

            Your menstrual cycle is nothing to be embarrassed about :)

      • janetstrausbaugh

        IUD’s are not used to prevent bleeding during pregnancy, but may cause it! They prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, and so are considered by many to be an abortifacient.

    • Mike

      Chik Fila rules!!

      • Mike

        Auto correct..

  • Susan

    You can all thank left wing Bill Clinton for signing the Religious Freedom Act during his term in office. Because of that law – Hobby Lobby has won. The supreme court upheld the liberal law that was so desired at the time. If you are a liberal and you are upset over this – you have no one to blame but yourself. I agree with the comment below — if you don’t like Hobby Lobby policies — then don’t work for them. What’s the problem here? (it’s called wanting your cake and eating it too – and that doesn’t fly when you are trying to pull it off in front of the Supreme Court). Thank you liberals, one and all, for the court decision.

  • katiefan

    Erica: you are so stupid. You liberals are like sheep. This entire issue has nothing do do with contraception, it’s about trying to get dems to the polls in November, because the democrats are looking at maybe losing the Senate. If you work at Hobby Lobby, here is a list of the contraception you will be covered on.

    Male condoms
    Female condoms
    Diaphragms with spermicide
    Sponges with spermicide
    Cervical caps with spermicide
    Spermicide alone
    Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
    Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
    Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
    Contraceptive patches
    Contraceptive rings
    Progestin injections
    Implantable rods
    Female sterilization surgeries
    Female sterilization implants


    • Rachael

      Ummm what about coverage for treatment options in the case of menorrhagia? Mirena is indicated in women who have menorrhagia. Do you think it wise to limit treatment options in disease states? What I am trying to get across is this isn’t about that three letter word SEX that the CEO of Hobby Lobby seems to think is all that it’s about. It is about the term caveat emptor-let the buyer beware of the information the Green family is selling to you about medical treatment.

      • WHAT?

        If you don’t want kids keep your nasty , crab infected, yeast smelling, v d liberal legs shut. It’s that simple! How hard can it be? If you liberal cry baby women want to get off so bad all you have to do is go to a adult store and get all the toys you need.

  • Joseph

    I don’t recall seeing the word “husband” in the article. Did I miss it? Or is she basically admitting to being slutty? Oops… I mean, promiscuous.

    • Laura

      Sluts vote! And we work and pay taxes. And we feel sorry for you sexually frustrated types!

  • Rocco Lamagela

    In a perfect world there would be a pill to cure the disease known as liberalism & mandated by the Feds to be ingested & free of charge!

  • Dude

    The women can still get coverage from an Obamacare website plan if they wish. Hobby Lobby signs a form and that enables them to apply without the extra cost of having insurance available at work.

  • Patrick

    Out of the 16 forms of birth control Hobby Lobby has already been paying for only 2 are for men. Should men be outraged at the obvious discrimination against them? Where is their pill to prevent an unplanned pregnancy? A vasectomy is not even a close comparison in method OR cost.

  • Mike

    It’s called the Affordable Care Act BTW

  • Mike

    And only an idiot would high five someone simply because the Federal government is now paying for their wants and needs. Happy 4th.! Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness! Not Government run healthcare…

  • Imma Commenter

    Uneducated opinions should never be the basis for court judgments or legislation. David Green’s opinion is scientifically incorrect. The SCOTUS failed miserably.

  • Joseph

    Haha… Funny. Well, some of you work and pay taxes, while many of you are unwed mothers on welfare, living off us working people. Unfortunately, your vote is worth the same as mine, hence the Obamination of America.

  • Ewock

    The author is a liar. The only issue in Hobby Lobby was opting out of abortion pills. The employer offered 15 other types of birth control pills. Typical media liars.