Hobby Lobby not forced to violate beliefs, comply with HHS mandate

Today in a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Hobby Lobby could not be forced to pay for abortifacient coverage.

Of note: This decision was not about birth control per se. Contrary to what much of the media would have us believe, Hobby Lobby had agreed to pay for 16 of the 20 contraceptives that HHS required them to pay for– but the Green’s (owners of Hobby Lobby) objected to four abortifacients that the mandate required.  This spring Christian Post reported, “Hobby Lobby refused to provide coverage for two types of IUDs and for Plan B and EllaOne, the morning-after and week-after pills, respectively.”  The Hobby Lobby fight was not against birth control but against four drugs/devices that can cause abortions.

From the opinion by Justice Alito:

…The owners of three closely held for-profit corporations have sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point…

…[The HHS mandate] requires the Hahns and Greens to engage in conduct that seriously violates their sincere religious belief that life begins at conception. If they and their companies refuse to provide contraceptive coverage, they face severe economic consequences: about $475 million per year for Hobby Lobby, $33 million per year for Conestoga, and $15 million per year for Mardel. And if they drop coverage altogether, they could face penalties of roughly $26 million for Hobby Lobby,$1.8 million for Conestoga, and $800,000 for Mardel…
 
…This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice…

Health and Human Services et al., v. Hobby Lobby Stores, INC., et al.

Today is a day of victory!  This decision is great news and an answer to prayer!

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