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Hobby Lobby case focuses on four contraceptives

The four contraceptives Hobby Lobby is protesting include two “emergency contraceptives” — Plan B and ella — and two intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Oklahoman Published: March 23, 2014
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Hobby Lobby sued the federal government because the company’s owners object to four specific contraceptives mandated for insurance coverage, not because they oppose all 18 of the required contraceptives for women.

The four include two “emergency contraceptives” — Plan B and ella — and two intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Members of the Green family who own Hobby Lobby say those contraceptives are abortifacients — that they induce abortion.

The point has led to some disputes in legal filings with the U.S. Supreme Court about the definitions of abortion and pregnancy.

A group of obstetricians, gynecologists and other physicians told the justices that abortion is the termination of a pregnancy and the contraceptives at issue can’t induce abortion because they only work before pregnancy.

The Greens counter that the contraceptives can prevent the implantation in the uterus of a fertilized egg. They say that is the destruction of life and that forcing them to offer those contraceptives makes them complicit in abortion.

If the U.S. Supreme Court rules for Hobby Lobby, the argument over specific kinds of contraceptives may be irrelevant.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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