Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. won a temporary reprieve on Friday from federal penalties as much as $1.3 million a day for failing to offer insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives to its more than 13,000 employees.
The company would have been forced to pay the fines for failing to comply with a mandate on emergency contraceptives is part of the Affordable Care Act. Hobby Lobby is suing the federal government over the law.
In brief remarks to reporters outside the courthouse after the hearing, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green said the Green family would have continued with its legal fight even Hobby Lobby had not successful in winning a preliminary injunction.
“This case is about life — our deeply held conviction is that life begins with conception,” Green said. “To offer prescriptions that take life is just not an option than us.”
Ruling from the bench Friday morning, U.S. District Court Judge Joe Heaton granted Hobby Lobby's request for a preliminary injunction against paying the fines while its court case continues.
The Oklahoma City-based retailer has been battling for a legal exemption to a federal mandate obligating the firm to provide its employees insurance coverage for emergency contraception. The company and its owners, CEO David Green and four family members, believe that some types of contraception, including the “morning-after pill,” are forms of abortion that conflict with the family's Christian beliefs.
Heaton earlier this year denied the company's motion for an injunction against potential penalties, but that ruling was overturned last month by a federal appeals court.