Over the weekend, locals staged a protest at the new Hobby Lobby in Elmwood in reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision. The court upheld the company's right to refuse to cover certain forms of birth control.
The group of about 50 protesters stood on Clearview Parkway for hours on Saturday passing out leaflets supporting the right of women to have access to health insurance that includes certain forms of birth control. They held up signs saying “The Bible is not a health care plan” and “Honk if you have ovaries”.
The Supreme Court’s decision a few weeks ago held that Hobby Lobby can't be forced to pay for contraceptives under the federal Affordable Care Act. The company had objected to covering birth control methods like IUDs and morning-after pills.
Emma DiAnna helped to organize Saturday’s protest.
"It's not just about Hobby Lobby," DiAnna says. "Our rights are slowly being chipped away and we wanted to show that individual women of Louisiana were upset about this. And I think by standing up against Hobby Lobby, we want to show lawmakers that there are ramifications for doing this, and that our rights should not be trumped by corporations and those who have sincerely held religious beliefs."
DiAnna and her co-organizers say they’re also planning a boycott of Hobby Lobby during the store’s busiest times like Halloween and Christmas, encouraging shoppers to send a message to the company by visiting competitors.
Louisiana Senator David Vitter and Governor Bobby Jindal support the court's Hobby Lobby decision as a victory for religious freedoms.