Why I Could Never Work for Hobby Lobby (Other than the Obvious Answer — They’re Total Jackasses)

– Posted in: Chronic Pain, Mean People, Tammy Thinks, Women's Issues

One of the awesome little side problems I’ve experienced during my whole fibromyalgia/atypical facial pain mess has been menstrual migraines. For those who don’t know, a menstrual migraine — at least for me — is a series of days-long headaches that occur like clockwork before your period. In my case, they lay me out for a few days and then miraculously disappear as soon as Aunt Flo arrives.

It’s fabulous.

I have other friends with this condition. When you’re a parent, it especially sucks. My friend Debbie was just telling me about a wonderful day she had at a water park when she had to haul a four-person raft up four flights of stairs. She didn’t really elaborate about what happened when she got to the top and had to sit down. There was something about gritted teeth and, “Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, be happy you’re at the water park.” I can only assume she considered jumping at that point…

So, what to do about this mess? Well, there’s pain medication (like I’m not downing enough of that already). There’s migraine medication (which puts me into a pseudo coma for about a day). There’s meditation and diet change (okay, thanks Tom Cruise — I’ll get right on that after I finish ripping through the first layer of my skull).

And then there’s hormone therapy, aka, birth control pills.

Now picture being me. And you already take THIS every day.

Pills I take every day

Granted, some of these are supplements. But I frankly don’t feel like adding one more med or “thing I have to swallow” to my daily routine. Not to mention, birth control pills haven’t always been my best friends. They make me feel a bit wonky, and the last thing I need is more wonky.

So, next option? The intrauterine device or IUD.

Some IUDs, including the Mirena, secrete a low level of progestin. The hormones don’t go through my system and freak me out the way an oral contraceptive does, but I still get just enough to:

  1. Stop my period almost completely (bonus)
  2. Curb my menstrual migraines

Do I need birth control? No. My husband has been snipped. There’s nothing coming down those pipes. This has nothing to do with procreation. It has everything to do with my health.

Why am I bringing all of this up right now? Because if, in some parallel universe, I just adored crafting or desperately needed a job and my only option was $8.25 at Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court of the United States just told me to go suck it.

Hobby Lobby is a family owned company that is religiously opposed to the use of the emergency contraceptive pills — like Plan B and Ella — and IUDs. So they sued to be exempt from having to pay for them under Obamacare. And they won. Hobby Lobby, incidentally, employs thousands of people. It’s not just some mom and pop shop that has Bobby Joe and Mary in the back room putting stickers on homemade Christmas sweaters. We’re talking major company here.

But the court’s solution (it’s 5-4 solution, all of the women justices voting against, by the way) was that the government could just figure it out and pick up the tab so that women who worked for Hobby Lobby wouldn’t be unduly burdened.

Because, you know, the government is an almost mythical, pie-in-the-sky, limitlessly wealthy entity when it comes to funding social safety nets. The current Congress loves voting “Yay” to stuff like unemployment insurance, food stamps, and veterans benefits…

But all that aside, let’s just pretend for a moment that the Congress would/could figure out a way to fill the gaping hole that’s been left in women’s health care. Where does that actually leave us? As this story rolls along, I think our best course of action may be to try to FORGET — so that we don’t go nuts — that the government is us. We are paying for this. And Hobby Lobby, a private corporation, has just gotten away with what amounts to one more form of corporate welfare.

I’m just one of millions of women who use birth control. For numerous reasons. But the most important takeaway from this story? I need it. It’s none of your business why. That’s between my doctor and me. And if, as a society, we’ve decided not to be neanderthals, join the rest of the first world, and make sure our citizens have health care, then birth control needs to be included in the whole package. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. You can’t attach an asterisk to part of my body and expect me to be okay with it.

You can't attach an asterisk to part of my body and expect me to be okay with it.

So, are you angry yet? There are a few cures for that. Some are free…

  • Vote
  • Volunteer with a campaign
  • Contact your representatives and give them a piece of your mind
  • Don’t yell at campaign volunteers who call your house — they’re trying to help
  • Don’t let false information get perpetuated — challenge it
  • Volunteer at Planned Parenthood

And some cost money…

  • Donate to campaigns — especially the ones in Congressional districts that are being targeted by the Koch Brothers and other crazy people
  • Donate to Planned Parenthood

Between this and the latest abortion ruling that takes away the 35-foot barrier between patients and protesters, I sort of feel like I’m in a bad dream. I truly didn’t believe I’d be fighting these battles for my daughter’s generation. I thought these would be stories she’d read about in history books and gasp at with her friends.

The only positive thing I have to say about all of this? At least now my kids won’t ever get some lame part-time job at Hobby Lobby. And I’d much rather get the discount at Starbucks. Why I Could Never Work for Hobby Lobby (Other than the Obvious Answer -- They're Total Jackasses)


12 Comments… add one

Lindysez June 30, 2014, 6:06 pm

I totally agree, this is so biased and wrong. Viagra is covered, but this they get away with? Although I do think we need to get our heads out of our neanderthal asses; we are better than some…but worse than others. Well written girl…I totally support your need to have these meds…and for them to be covered, no matter who you work for.
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Tammy Soong June 30, 2014, 6:24 pm

This is what I find frustrating — and I should write another post — I don’t think Viagra SHOULDN’T be covered. But birth control absolutely should. The fact that we’re arguing about this makes me ill.
Tammy Soong recently posted..Why I Could Never Work for Hobby Lobby (Other than the Obvious Answer — They’re Total Jackasses)My Profile

Cheryl S. June 30, 2014, 6:08 pm

Seriously, Tammy, I am reading this with tears in my eyes, a loathing in my heart and a violent urge to vomit. I want to leave here. I want to live somewhere that isn’t ruled by the penis.

Tammy Soong June 30, 2014, 6:35 pm

I know, girlfriend. We’re in crazytown.
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AlwaysARedhead June 30, 2014, 6:27 pm

Years ago when I was on the pill (I’m in Canada, for those who don’t know), any benefit plan I had birth control pills were covered no questions asked. I find it beyond unreasonable that a company would be allowed to say no you can have that medication due to my religious beliefs. My family physician prescribed the pill for me when I was 15 because my periods lasted two weeks and we’re very heavy. My father a devout Catholic at the time had a huge fight with my mother about it. He did not understand it was to make me feel better rather than give me permission to have sex. My mother stood her ground. Obviously these men really do need to a a monthly flow because otherwise I don’t think their minds will ever change.
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Tammy Soong June 30, 2014, 6:37 pm

Yep. Even for one day. They couldn’t take it for one day.
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ted moore June 30, 2014, 6:48 pm

I should preface this by saying I am certainly NOT fond of this ruling, at all. Zealots being zealots, wait till the McCarthy hearings happen again only this time we’ll be required to dictate religious has horror stories from memory…

it paves the way for taxing churches as individuals…

Yeah! #murica

Andrea June 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

I just keep hoping I misunderstood something in the ruling…like it was some wonky part of a movie that just doesn’t make sense. And I thought it was bad when they chose to show their intolerance of other religions by making a public refusal to carry any hannukah stuff…because if you recall, the shelves were too crowded with the every holy cheetah balls!

Susan Maccarelli July 1, 2014, 5:44 am

This really is insane. If they don’t believe in homosexuality because of their religion can they not hire gay people too? Since when is religion free reign to do whatever the hell you want in a business? Oh and I’m assuming since they won’t allow birth control, they offer unlimited free daycare right?
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Lisa July 1, 2014, 10:41 pm

I went ballistic (in my head) when I heard about this decision. Nice commentary, Tammy. You were able to demonstrate so rationally and reasonably why it’s completely unreasonable for our health care to be connected with our jobs.
BOYCOTT HOBBY LOBBY! I regret this, because I do like this type of store–anyone with kids is likely to need the stuff they sell. And I really miss Ben Franklin (another craft store; used to be in Shopper’s Square). But DO NOT ever set foot in that store–I certainly won’t. Maybe we should picket there some time.

Andrea July 4, 2014, 7:38 am

I hate that women have to pick and choose the lesser of two evils over and over every single day. Place this decision right at the top of my list of outrages that include the price of feminine hygiene products.
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Roxanne July 10, 2014, 2:04 pm

How is this the world I live in? Where this kind of stuff happens and people are OK with it? I can’t even talk about it because I get so angry and frustrated and BLARG!
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