Supreme Court denies employer relief from contraceptive mandate

hobby_lobbyThe U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to stop the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing its contraception mandate against a chain of family-owned retail stores according to a Fox News report.

Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain, is the largest company to seek relief from the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, said Johanna Dasteel, writing for LifeSiteNews. The mandate requires all employers to provide contraceptive coverage, including the controversial “morning-after pill,” as a part of the health insurance package offered to employees.

On Sept. 12, Hobby Lobby filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking exemption from the mandate due to its owners’ strong religious beliefs.

According to its own website, the family business, led by founder and CEO David Green, has over 500 stores and more than 13,000 full-time employees in 41 states. With fines assessed at $100 per day per employee for failing to comply with the mandate, the company could be looking at $1.3 million per day in fines, according to Tim Tally writing for the Huffington Post.

“No American should have to choose between following his faith and paying enormous fines,” Green’s attorney, Lori Windham, senior counsel at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told LifeSiteNews.com. “The court below said it was not a substantial burden on the Greens’ religious freedom to force their family-owned company to pay for abortion-causing drugs. We believe the First Amendment means more than that.”

Although the Supreme Court only ruled on the issue of injunctive relief and not on the merits of Hobby Lobby’s case, the decision could nonetheless put an end to the retail chain’s suit.

If the company’s owners stick to their principles by following their religious beliefs, it’s difficult to imagine them being able to afford the $1.3 million daily penalty for long. They’d apparently be left with the choice of either going out of business or ignoring their religious beliefs. If they choose the former, another 13,000 employees would be left pounding the pavement looking for work.

Read more at Fox News.

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