May 23 2013

Hobby Lobby Goes to Appeals Court Today

Hadley Heath

Nearly 200 plaintiffs across the country have filed suit against the Obama Administration over a mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives and sterilization.  Many of them are Catholic, and object to all forms of birth control.  Others, like the owners of Hobby Lobby - a national chain of craft stores employing more than 22,000 people - object specifically to drugs they say function as abortifacients.  

There is some question about whether or not Plan B, or the "morning after" pill actually causes fertilized eggs to be terminated.  There is no question about Ella, the "week after" pill.  The chemical makeup of this latter drug is similar to RU-486, the abortion pill.

The Independent Women's Forum takes no stance on abortion or contraception, but we - like most Americans - believe that business owners should be free to conduct their affairs in accordance with their personal moral views, so long as they don't tread on the rights of others.

Hobby Lobby is seeking an injunction against the mandate, which takes effect August 1. A federal judge denied their request for an injunction in District Court, so now they are in the appeals process. If they don't get an injunction, the craft store giant could face penalties of $100 per worker per day... And with 22,500 workers, well, you do the math.  It's enough to put them out of business.

Aside from Hobby Lobby, most of the plaintiffs challenging the mandate are seeing success in court, and it is only a matter of time before this issue comes before the Supreme Court. A handful of cases are being heard this month at the appellate level.

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