Claim: Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit over a federal mandate requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives.
Example: [Green, September 2012]
We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are
But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions. Which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face
[Rest of article here.]
Origins: The example text excerpted above is the opening to a
"By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow," David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, said in a statement. "We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate."
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, alleges the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate is unconstitutional and requests an injunction to prohibit it from being enforced. Hobby Lobby is self-insured and will be required to comply with the mandate by
Hobby Lobby is the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services mandate that forces
"The Green family's religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says the family also has "a sincere religious objection" to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices and alleges they can cause the death of an embryo by preventing it from implanting in the wall of a woman's uterus.
The morning-after pill works by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In medical terms, pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. If taken within
But critics of the contraceptive say it is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.
Schmitz and spokespersons for the Christian groups said the drugs are contraceptives and that women have a right to make their own medical decisions.
"Access to contraceptive care is a very good thing," Schmitz said. "This isn't about abortion. These pills do not cause abortion. It's contraception."
The petitions accuse Hobby Lobby's owners of using their Christian faith as an excuse to obstruct health care reform and deny women access to birth control. Petitioners vow to not shop at Hobby Lobby until the lawsuit, filed on
"The petition is misleading. It makes it seem as if Hobby Lobby is seeking to exclude birth control from its health plan all together. That's just not true. The Green family and Hobby Lobby do not have any religious objection to birth control
"What Hobby Lobby objects to and the reason they sued is because the HHS mandate forces Hobby Lobby to include a specific kind of drug," he explained.
The drugs are called Plan B and Levonelle, otherwise known as "the morning-after pill" and "the week-after pill."
"For many people, [the pills] are not even considered birth control because the way they operate is to prevent the implantation of an egg in the womb. For millions of Americans that take the traditional Christian view that life begins at conception, that amounts to an early abortion," Duncan said. "The petition totally misses that and instead says that 'Hobby Lobby is denying women birth control and therefore denying health care.' So, the premise of the petition is wrong."
The 5-to-4 decision, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to challenges from other corporations to many laws that may be said to violate their religious liberty.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the court's five more conservative justices, said a federal religious-freedom law applied to for-profit corporations controlled by religious families. He added that the requirement that the companies provide contraception coverage imposed a substantial burden on the companies' religious liberty. He said the government could provide the coverage in other ways.
Green, David. "Christian Companies Can't Bow to Sinful Mandate." USA Today. 12 September 2012. Li, Shan. "Hobby Lobby, Defying Health Law, Refuses to Cover Morning-After Pill." Los Angeles Times. 31 December 2012. Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court Rejects Contraceptives Mandate for Some Corporations." The New York Times. 30 June 2014. Murashko, Alex. "Hobby Lobby Stands Ground Against Group Asking to Drop HHS Lawsuit." The Christian Post. 28 September 2012. Olafson, Steve. "Hobby Lobby Sues U.S. Government Over Healthcare Mandate." Reuters. 13 September 2012. Olafson, Steve. "Court Rejects Hobby Lobby's Challenge to Contraceptive Mandate." Reuters. 19 November 2012. Oppenheimer, Mark.
"At Christian Companies, Religious Principles Complement Business Practices."
The New York Times. 2 August 2013. Talley, Tim. "Hobby Lobby Sues Over Morning-After Pill Coverage." Businessweek. 12 September 2012. Talley, Tim. "Pastors Protest Hobby Lobby on Morning-After Pill." Businessweek. 28 September 2012.