"The Most Creative Ways That People Are Protesting The Hobby Lobby Ruling"
CREDIT: Instagram via jasmine_shea
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision that closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby can refuse to offer coverage for certain types of contraception based on their owners’ religious beliefs, thousands of people have made it clear they’re unhappy with the ruling. Over the past two weeks, people have rallied at Hobby Lobby locations across the country and called for widespread boycotts of its products.
But in addition to those more traditional acts of protest, some activists are also getting pretty creative. Here are some of the more unusual ways they’re making their feelings known:
1. Making their own IUDs out of pipe cleaners.
Since Hobby Lobby will no longer cover intrauterine devices (IUDs) for their female employees, one satirical video has some tips for workers who may need a new option. “Miss Sandy from Hobby Lobby” — an entirely fictional character — explains how to use pipe cleaners, glue guns, googly eyes, and glitter to create a homemade IUD. The video’s creators specify that all of those craft supplies were actually purchased from Michael’s, one of Hobby Lobby’s direct competitors. Some of the protesters who showed up to rally outside of their local Hobby Lobby stores this past week brought along their own IUDs fashioned out of craft supplies, too.
2. Rearranging craft displays to spell out pro-choice messages.
Several customers have visited Hobby Lobby stores to use the products on the shelves to spell out responses to the recent ruling. Several protesters have rearranged wooden blocks to spell the word “pro-choice.” Another opted for “all women deserve birth control.” Photos of the creative displays spread quickly on social media. “Yes, you can write a letter. Yes, you can picket somewhere,” Jasmine Shea, a New York resident who opted for this particular form of protest, noted in a recent interview with the Washington Post. “But I’m sure Hobby Lobby doesn’t want people doing this in their stores. I think someone there will take notice.”
3. Handing out birth control.
Protesters across the country are bringing condoms to Hobby Lobby stores and either handing them out to customers or leaving them on the shelves. Even religious leaders are getting in on the action. In Illinois, a group of clergy handed out condoms in front of a Hobby Lobby to make the point that not all people of faith are opposed to contraception, even though Hobby Lobby supporters claim that the right to drop coverage for birth control is a matter of religious liberty.
4. Leading prayer vigils outside of Hobby Lobby.
In keeping with the idea that not all religious people support the Hobby Lobby decision, a group of Christians in Oklahoma — the same state where the crafts chain was founded — held a prayer vigil outside of the store. A local retired Baptist minister led the prayers, pointing out that “there are a lot of Christians and denominations that are opposed to what the Supreme Court has done.” The progressive Christian group Faithful America, which organized that event, also attempted to deliver tens of thousands of petition signatures to Hobby Lobby’s flagship store from people of faith who oppose the ruling.
5. Filming X-rated videos.
Even pornography websites have something to say about the recent Hobby Lobby ruling. Porn star Ela Darling partnered with the Funny or Die team to film an X-rated video called “How to Get Contraception From Hobby Lobby.” Like Miss Sandy, Darling also favors making homemade birth control out of craft supplies — she ends up creating a “sperm free zone” out of Popsicle sticks — but her spoof isn’t as safe for work due to brief nudity.
6. Knitting a uterus to mail to Hobby Lobby.
Some activists are using their knitting skills to send a message to Hobby Lobby; they’re creating replicas of uteri and mailing them to the store. This creative tactic didn’t originate with the Hobby Lobby ruling — a group of knitters named “Government Free VJJ” has already been creating these for lawmakers who support anti-abortion laws that infringe on women’s reproductive lives. And if activists are looking for a slightly less difficult crafty protest, Bitch Magazine has several other tongue-in-cheek ideas.