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November 20 2012

Hobby Lobby: Federal Judge Nixes Religious Freedom

Charlotte Hays

Almost on the eve of a holiday started by people who came to America to practice their religion, a federal judge issues a ruling that curtails our religious liberty:

A federal judge has denied a challenge to President Obama's birth control coverage mandate from Hobby Lobby, the Christian-run arts-and-crafts chain.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled Monday that the company must provide insurance coverage for all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including "morning after" and "week after" birth control pills.

Hobby Lobby, one of the largest companies to sue over the mandate, argued that covering the pills would violate the religious beliefs that inform the firm's business practices.

The IWF put out a statement in support of Hobby Lobby in September, and it is worth quoting Hadley Heath, senior policy analyst and manager of HeathCareLawsuits.org, remarks at that time:  

“The Independent Women's Forum applauds Hobby Lobby for taking a stand against the Obama administration's HHS mandate that forces businesses to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

“Every family and every business in the United States should be free to live according to their deeply held religious convictions.  This freedom is a part of our nation's heritage, and is widely recognized as an important right – even by people and groups who are not religious.  

“The HHS mandate goes too far, asking all of society to agree on very personal questions about morality, life, and conception.  These are important debates, but the government has no business taking sides.

A Hobby Lobby spokesman said that the company will appeal the ruling. Their suit is one among more than 20 lawsuits that have been filed against the HHS contraception mandate that was promulgated as part of ObamaCare.

"Every American, including family business owners like the Greens [the family that owns Hobby Lobby], should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs," Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement quoted by The Hill newspaper.

IWF's Carrie Lukas has also commented on the Obama administration’s concern not to offend some religions while attempting to force members of religious groups to violate their consciences.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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