Protests at New Hobby Lobby in Totowa

BY  |  Monday, Jul 14, 2014 8:58am  |  COMMENTS (34)

hobby lobbyTalk about timing. Just as Hobby Lobby won a contraceptive ruling in Supreme Court (and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a blistering dissent), Hobby Lobby’s new Totowa store opened (the store takes the place of a former Conway store, by the Toys R Us).

The Record reports that some 50 people protested at the Totowa store on Saturday, including demonstrators from the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood and the League of Women Voters. A smaller protest occurred at the store’s grand opening on July 7.

For two hours Saturday afternoon, the protesters in front of the Totowa Hobby Lobby — newly opened as of July 7 — held hand-lettered signs with such slogans as “Family planning is a family value,” “Women’s values trump corporate dictates,” and “My religious freedom has been given to corporations.”

Besides its role in the controversial Supreme Court decision, Hobby Lobby in Totowa moves into a competitive crafting field, with A.C. Moore and Michaels both nearby in Clifton, not to mention Montclair’s own crafter’s paradise, Rock Paper Scissors.


  1. POSTED BY redrum  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    I’ve never been to a hobby lobby and have no desire to go. I’d rate them with the likes of chick-fil-a. Michaels has the better merchandise anyway, at least over AC Moore, and I see no need to patronize such an establishment.

  2. POSTED BY sillyphus  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    I’m not sure what the problem is, after all corporations are just people.

  3. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    Are we going to re-hash this one again? (Perhaps cut and past all the comments from the original Hobby Lobby decision story?)

    Still, 50 protested, but how many shopped? This story, as well as the one in The Record fail to mention this.

    50 doesn’t sound like a lot when you consider the “OUTRAGE” many voiced here, on twitter and FB.

    Yet only 50 could muster the time to physically protest, huh?

    Years ago when I worked for a Union, when we protested, we made SURE we had OVERWHELMING numbers. Otherwise, the man don’t care.

    Here, 50 isn’t much. And that the numbers of shoppers was, eh, missing, tells me this “protest” was a flop. And the signs claiming a woman’s “choice” has been taken away is just wrong.

  4. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:34 am

    Regardless of what the Supreme Court says, I don’t think of corporations as people. We refer to corporations as “it,” not “he” or “she.” In other words, it is not a sentient being and should not be treated as such.

  5. POSTED BY Jimmytown  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    If you want to decorate your home with cheap Chinese theater props, that’s fine. Same reason I don’t buy furniture from ikea or Bobs. They believe in no birth control and I believe in quality products.

  6. POSTED BY mike 91  |  July 14, 2014 @ 9:56 am

    While the number of protesters is small, how many folks (like my wife) are just going to go to Michael’s and AC Moore? Craft crap is fungible. My kids don’t care where their glitter glue comes from. My opinion is that all the publicity about this case doesn’t bode well for this location.

  7. POSTED BY jcunningham  |  July 14, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    ” And the signs claiming a woman’s “choice” has been taken away is just wrong.”

    —well, that just settles it, ladies.

    the prof has spoken.

    quit wasting your time and get back in the kitchen. and when you work for HL (or any other “closely held” corp) and can’t get covered birth control, remember what the prof said!

    what a tired old foofter…

  8. POSTED BY me1004  |  July 14, 2014 @ 10:55 am

    Well, I know I will get slammed here by narrow minded people. Nonetheless, birth control should not be funded by medical insurance. Birth control is not a matter of a health problem, it is a lifestyle choice. Medical insurance should cover only health problems,whether preventive or treatment. Yes, when the same medication is needed for an actual medical treatment such as hormone therapy, that should be funded by health insurance. But not when the purpose is birth control, which is not a matter of a medical problem.

    Mind you, I am fully in favor of birth control and responsibility. I think birth control is something that should be used. I just don’t see that it should be funded via something unrelated, via health care insurance. If you think the individuals should not have to pay for it themselves, then at least subsidize it through some other program, whether government or private.

    When you add on things that are not a matter of medical problem, what you do is make the price of actual health care soar. I can tell you, in my case, at my older age, medical insurance it far too pricey for me to buy (up around $1,000 a month for an HMO policy. That is far and away too much, so I can’t get it, even if the government thinks that is affordable so no subsidy at an income of $45,000 a year.) Yet if I did pay that astronomical price, it is outrageous to think it would be funding non-medical matters.

    Medical insurance should not be funding lifestyle choices like contraception any more than it should be funding me for a trip to a resort hotel. Look at what medical insurance is and is not funding – it is NOT funding or funding at a very low rate all kinds of real, needed medical treatment. Yet you think instead of funding that, we should pay for lifestyle choices?!

    This whole issue over medical insurance funding contraception is just frivolous.

  9. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    @ jcunningham,

    Your knee-jerk reaction is typical. But please tell me, exactly how were your “rights” taken from you with this decision?

    And remember, it was not me who made the decision. It was the Supreme Court. So then, in that matter, yes, the case IS closed.

    But please, tell me and I will be more than willing to listen. Hell, I would even go beyond an “ANGRY TWEET” and show up personally to protest.

  10. POSTED BY badger461  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    I am in total agreement with me1004 that birth control is a choice. The ACA and its mandates are likely going to create a whole new pool of middle class uninsured people. Many self employed folks like myself are being forced to make some really hard choices regarding HUGE increases in the cost of their
    health coverage because the more affordable policies they had are no longer available. I would like to know when the protest of this scheduled. I’ll be there!

  11. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    So me1004, what about Viagra and vasectomies? Aren’t those lifestyle choices too?

    And for what it’s worth, many millions of women take hormonal birth control for a medical problem and not birth control.

    Honestly, you could have saved yourself all the typing and just said “hey you ladies get your uterus off my lawn.”

  12. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:41 am

    badger, I’m sorry to hear that the cost of your coverage is going up, but I don’t think you’re going to see too many more protests with the way ACA is working so far, but stay tuned.

  13. POSTED BY badger461  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:44 am

    Viagra and Vasectomies are covered by ACA requirements as well?….UGH!!!! We’re doomed.

  14. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 14, 2014 @ 11:52 am

    jcunningham (and the protesters) are wrong. As much as it pains me to admit it, prof is right.

  15. POSTED BY mike 91  |  July 14, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

    When you add on things that are not a matter of medical problem, what you do is make the price of actual health care soar.

    The problem with your stance is that it takes birth control away from the people who “need” it most: the people in no economic position to have children. Is birth control super expensive? Not in general. The “last resort” stuff that the SC just took away is, I think. And if you are so worried about costs, what do you think unplanned pregnancies cost vs. contraception?

    While the SC very narrowly defined the class of business their ruling falls under, it sets a terrible precedent. Hooray for the freedom to control the lives of others!

  16. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  July 14, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

    “The problem with your stance is that it takes birth control away from the people who “need” it most: the people in no economic position to have children.”

    If those in “no economic position to have children” are willing to take that risk I’d argue that they are dumb enough to not use birth control if it rained from the sky.

  17. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  July 14, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

    But Mr. Roo, that would require the ANGRY (and lazy) to read the decision, rather than have it interpreted to them by their favorite sources.

    And those who equate viagra with birth control are, well, IDIOTS. Viagra helps men who cannot get or maintain an erection. I’m at a total and complete loss (and those fools who posted the pix of both on their FB pages comparing viagra and the pill only showed their stupidity, eh, sorry, how uninformed they are…).

    Without The Pill, woman and their partners can still enjoy sexual relations. Without viagra, men and their partners cannot. Moreover, female Hobby Lobby employees still can have, what 20 of 24 birth control methods paid for.

    To read some great legal discussions of this case (it was, after all a legal case), check out’s Hobby Lobby page here:

    The decision is here:

    Like most, they are fairly easy to read. I find them fun and informative, but consuming in that it’s a blackhole that my curiosity finds me reading citations, footnotes, etc.

    Finally, let us remember, this case found the contraception mandate of the ACA violated the bipartisan, Clinton era Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    So blame Bill Clinton and his ability to work with a Republican Congress.

  18. POSTED BY silverleaf  |  July 14, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    ” . . . if it rained from the sky.”

    The word “rubbers” comes to mind.

  19. POSTED BY hrhppg  |  July 14, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    THat description of what viagra is used for in the context of this thread makes me wonder – do posters here know how babies are made ? Oh wait you do but you believe that the results and responsibilities of that love making partner are all the woman’s problem. Ladies if this issue upsets you then the first protest should be at home.

    I boycott with my money and this BS company and its fake values won’t be seeing any of my cash.

  20. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  July 14, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    Gee, by the arguments above you’d expect people to think that having a baby is a lifestyle choice too. Funny that doesn’t get mentioned yet childbirth certainly contributes far more to health care costs than contraceptives. So does old age. So do other diseases that are a direct result of poor lifestyle choices (obesity and diabetes). Let’s treat everyone fairly and keep religion out of health care.

  21. POSTED BY angryrabbit  |  July 14, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Okay, unless you understand about factors such as allergies, postpartum effectiveness rates for barrier contraception, ease of correct use, failure rates etc. etc., then please quit telling us ladies we have all the birth control options we need and that we’re overreacting. Not every method is right for every woman. Not every method is as effective as others. And frankly, I’d rather decide which method works best for me with a doctor than with a craft store.

    And the idea that funding birth control is driving up the cost of insurance is, frankly, ignorant. Unplanned pregnancies are a much more expensive burden for insurance companies than providing birth control to all the women who want it–which is why insurance companies are offering to pick up the tab when companies refuse to.

    I am tired of the sanctimoniousness of those who think unnecessarily limiting choice for women is no big deal. I am especially sick of hearing it from the same politicians who are having tantrums about the fact that they can’t “choose” to buy incandescent lightbulbs anymore .

  22. POSTED BY flipside  |  July 14, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    MMM…how about this idea. Employer based health care excludes all birth control, viagra, vasectomies, that new pill for post-menapausal women, etc, etc, BUT if any employee wishes to buy a group insurance supplement that covers all the goodies that plan must be made available…this is all about choice right? Those that want out for religious or financial reasons are happy and those that want the coverage can get it. They have to pay for it but they get it.

  23. POSTED BY thanksalatte  |  July 14, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    Immediately after the decision, Hart Research came with a poll that 81% of women disagreed with the Supreme Court.

    But a more recent poll from YouGov shows an even divide. Are they both outliers? The huge change suggests yes.

    The important consideration is enthusiasm. Who is this decision driving to the voting booth? I doubt its the supporters. There is a fifty point spread against the decision in the instapoll at the top of this page. That’s probably not reflective of the larger population, but it shows who showed up to read the article.

    For me personally it’s an issue of control. Who do we, as a society, want in charge of women? I want it to be the women themselves, but obviously a lot of people disagree.

  24. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  July 14, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

    Considering that protests, at least the ones that actually involve making a sign, leaving the house and showing up somewhere, don’t happen much anymore (with all due respect to the nice folks who regularly protest in various groups along the ave), I think 50 people is not insignificant.

    As far as the voting booth, you can bet it’s not going to help the GOP with their already dwindling support among women.

  25. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  July 14, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

    Pete, don’t be too sure about that. This particular group will surely vote GOP in November:

  26. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  July 14, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

    “Unplanned pregnancies are a much more expensive burden for insurance companies than providing birth control to all the women who want it…”

    Unplanned pregnancies are also a much more expensive burden for families than purchasing birth control.

    Obesity can be much more expensive long term than the cost of eating healthy.

    Your dentist bills might be more expensive long term than the cost of toothpaste.

    Get it yet?

  27. POSTED BY Tim Lynch  |  July 14, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

    I said “no” in the poll, basically because I’ve never shopped there before. As many others have noted, there are plenty of options for what Hobby Lobby sells, so me not going out of my way to *start* patronizing them doesn’t count as a boycott.

    That said, I do hope they take an economic hit for this, though I’d prefer it be a case of a major employee walkout rather than other options.

  28. POSTED BY PAZ  |  July 14, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

    I ain’t shoppin’ nowhere that needs a lobbyist for the hobbyist!

  29. POSTED BY the Duke of Prunes  |  July 15, 2014 @ 2:51 am

    I have a feeling it will get a lot of customers from Republican West Caldwell, who are proud to call Sam Alito their hometown hero! :-O

  30. POSTED BY walleroo  |  July 15, 2014 @ 8:24 am

    What you eat is a lifestyle choice. So if your BMI is 29 or above and you have diabetes, pay for your own insulin pump. Same goes for the open-heart surgery, stroke treatment, replacement hip, etc.

    Lung cancer is a lifestyle choice too, no? If you’re dumb enough to choose to smoke two packs of ciggies a day, pay for your own chemo.

    Come to think of it, walking isn’t an absolutely necessary. There are wheelchairs, right? And don’t we all pay to make buses and entraceways accessable?

    Same goes for vets. It’s a volunteer army, after all. Nobody made you go to Iraq, and you did it for pay. So if you get your leg blown off on an IED, not my problemo.

    Hey, I’m saving us lots of money!

  31. POSTED BY badger461  |  July 15, 2014 @ 8:38 am

    Why doesn’t health insurance cover buying organic produce as well? It would be much cheaper than treating obesity related disease.

  32. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  July 15, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    @ thanksalatte, did you even read the questions in the “survey” you cited? Because they, like most seem to, mischaracterize the Hobby Lobby decision.

    It asks: “should not be able to exempt themselves from the requirement of covering prescription birth control in their health plans if they object to contraception on religious grounds.”

    What does this question have to do with Hobby Lobby who STILL covers 16 of 20 methods?

    It’s a flawed, or rather, leading question that presupposes a desired result.

    *** The bigger issue here, for this protest, is this: how many people even know enough to care? I suspect that number is rather small. And judging by the 50 outraged folks, I may be right.

    We’ll see.

  33. POSTED BY mike 91  |  July 15, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    What does this question have to do with Hobby Lobby who STILL covers 16 of 20 methods?

    Oooooh, how nice of them. As more than one woman has commented here, not good enough. Especially given the reason for their objection.

    Hobby Lobby (and others) don’t even understand what these drugs do. They “believe” they cause abortions (they do not), so that’s enough. Again, what kind of precedent does this set?

    Unplanned pregnancies are also a much more expensive burden for families than purchasing birth control.

    Red herring. The insurance companies are more than happy to pay for this contraception, as required by the ACA. This was purely a case where Hobby Lobby didn’t want to be the one responsible for paying for this.

  34. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  July 23, 2014 @ 4:41 pm

    Looks like you can break the law (Affordable Care Act) if you have a religious based reason, no test required, just claim it. Other than that, the court decided in an objectionable manner, as Ginsberg countered. Too bad, for America, it seems.

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