After today’s ruling, Hobby Lobby does not have to include abortion drug coverage in its employee health care plans. The U.S. Supreme Court held the Obamacare mandate “substantially burdens the exercise of religion,” and the Christian retailer is not required to follow it.
“If the owners comply with the HHS mandate, they believe they will be facilitating abortions, and if they do not comply, they will pay a very heavy price — as much as $1.3 million per day, or about $475 million per year, in the case of one of the companies,” the opinion reads. “If these consequences do not amount to a substantial burden, it is hard to see what would.”
Justice Samuel Alito concluded, “There are other ways in which Congress or HHS could equally ensure that every woman has cost-free access to the particular contraceptives at issue here and, indeed, to all FDA-approved contraceptives.”
The ruling affirms the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions.
The Hobby Lobby decision only applies to companies, including Conestoga Wood Specialties, which had a companion case pending before the Supreme Court. Non-profit groups like Priests for Life and Little Sisters are still waiting for a ruling about their right to opt out of the mandate.
Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, said, “Our family is overjoyed by the Supreme Court’s decision. Today the nation’s highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country’s founding principles. The Court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey.”
We applaud the excellent work of the Hobby Lobby legal team!