BURBANK (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of protesters Monday gathered at a Hobby Lobby store in Burbank in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision that allowed the company to exempt certain contraceptives from employees’ medical insurance on moral grounds.
KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports members of pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood and the National Organization of Women were on hand to encourage shoppers to boycott the store’s grand opening.
Protesters were seen marching and holding signs that read “Birth Control Empowers Women” and “Your Boss’ Superstition Trumps Your Doctor’s Prescription” outside the store located at 641 N. Victory Boulevard.
Prior to the event, supporters had been encouraged to “dress up in an IUD or condom costume” in order to “celebrate the beautiful sexual autonomy which people (but especially women) posses (sic)” on the group’s Facebook page.
One protester who took part in the peaceful demonstration said she wants to make sure women’s voices are being heard.
“If we don’t stop and point out to people that our rights are being taken away, apathy will take over and people will just let the corporations run over them,” she said.
But a longtime Hobby Lobby shopper said the ruling was not enough to keep her from shopping at the store.
“I think everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe in,” said the woman. “I don’t have a right to force my beliefs on you and you don’t have a right to force my beliefs on me.”
The Supreme Court ruled last Monday in “Burwell v. Hobby Lobby” that “closely-held” companies – which is defined as five or fewer people owning 50 percent or more of a company – can refuse to cover contraception for employees if such coverage offends religious beliefs.
Company officials say the ruling does not affect employee coverage for preventive care and almost all of the contraceptives required under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 70 percent of Hobby Lobby employees are women, according to the company’s website.
Hobby Lobby employees declined requests for interviews at the store. The Oklahoma City-based chain operates 576 stores nationwide.
In response to last week’s ruling, Hobby Lobby co-founder Barbara Green issued the following statement: “The Court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)