Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. filed suit Wednesday in Federal Court to stop implementation of mandates in the Obama administration’s healthcare law which would require it to cover birth control methods that its ownership says it is opposed to on religious grounds.
David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, is well-known for running the family company in accordance with his family’s conservative Christian beliefs. Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sunday and the company prides itself on paying its employees wages above usual retail industry standards.
Unless the court overturns the coverage mandate in the ACA law, on January 1st Hobby Lobby will be required to begin covering the morning after pill and other forms of contraception such as the IUD, which the company’s ownership holds to be in violation of their religious beliefs, according to the lawsuit filings. They are asking the court to declare the ACA mandate unconstitutional, and for a stay to block it going into effect. According to a press statement, the company believes they could face fines of $1.3 million per day for failing to comply with the coverage mandate if it is not blocked.
Hobby Lobby is being represented in the suit by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a religious liberty law firm based in Washington, DC. The Becket Fund is also representing Wheaton College, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, and Ave Maria University in lawsuits challenging the ACA birth control coverage mandate.
In a statement, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green explained the purpose of the suit:
…our faith is being challenged by the federal government. The Health and Human Services “preventative services” mandate forces businesses to provide the “morning-after” and the “week-after” pills in our health insurance plans. These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.
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