March 25, 2014

Independent Women’s Forum Supports Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties
Much More Than Contraception, It’s About The Principles of Liberty that Animate Our Constitution


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today reiterates our support for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. as oral arguments begin at the U.S. Supreme Court for the cases brought against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate.

“These cases do not represent a conflict between religious employers and female employees. Women have been and will continue to be free to seek out and purchase the contraceptives of their choice,” IWF Health Policy Director Hadley Heath said.

“Instead, these cases illustrate the inevitable conflicts that result from too much government involvement in health care. The contraception mandate works contrary to women’s interests. Personal health care decisions should be in the hands of free patients and doctors, not prescribed by one-size-fits-all mandates.  Americans have diverse religious views. We live in a pluralistic society. We should all be free to live according to our beliefs, and this freedom does not end when we form or operate business ventures.”

“This case is about much more than contraception. It is about the principles of liberty that animate our Constitution. It is about empowering women to choose the healthcare and employment options that best fit their needs. And it is about employers, many of them women, being able to follow their deeply held religious beliefs.”

In January IWF filed an Amicus Curiae brief backing the challengers to the government mandate; in contrast to the 56 other briefs filed in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, IWF stresses the mandate’s consequences for women’s health and employment freedom. IWF argues that the HHS mandate works contrary to women’s interests and will restrict women’s flexibility to customize their compensation and benefits.

Hadley Heath, Director of Health Policy, Independent Women's ForuM
Erin Hawley, Counsel of Record, University of Missouri and Counsel for Amicus Curiae Brief 

The main focus of IWF’s brief is a key legal issue that underpins the case: the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act was enacted in 1867 to ensure the prompt collection of taxes and to protect the public treasury. It enacts a pay-first litigate-later approach to challenge one’s income taxes. IWF argues that the Anti-Injunction Act is not jurisdictional in this case and does not prevent the resolution of the critical constitutional questions at issues in the cases.

The IWF has been monitoring and keeping the public informed about constitutional challenges to ObamaCare since the law’s passage, and in October 2010 launched a Web site to track the more than 100 cases filed against various aspects of ObamaCare. This project can be found online at

To read the IWF's amicus brief, click here.

For complete list of amicus briefs visit The Becket Fund and Alliance Defending Freedom.

Follow these links to read the IWF’s fact sheet and policy brief about the HHS mandate.


Independent Women's Forum works to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free-markets and personal liberty.