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Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby to defy federal law requiring contraception coverage for employees, attorney says

The Oklahoma City-based retailer must provide insurance coverage for morning-after pills and week-after pills beginning Jan. 1 or face potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
BY DON MECOY Modified: December 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm •  Published: December 27, 2012

The Green family's operation of Hobby Lobby and Mardel retail stores has long reflected their evangelical Christian beliefs. The business closes its shops on Sundays, annually buys full-page religious newspaper ads on Easter and Christmas, and employs full-time chaplains to minister to workers. The Greens regularly funnel corporate profits to Christian ministries and missions.

The lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction to allow the company to avoid the potential fines when its insurance plan year begins Jan. 1. The lawsuit also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the mandate's enforcement against the Green family and its businesses, “and other individuals and organizations that object on religious grounds to providing insurance coverage for abortion-causing drugs and devices, and related education and counseling.”

Duncan said the company will continue its appeal in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is challenging U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton's ruling that the retailers were “secular, for-profit corporations” and did not have free-exercise rights under the First Amendment.

Experts deem

drugs necessary

Government attorneys have argued for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel are secular entities, and that the contraceptive pills and devices were included among other forms of contraception under the health care law because medical experts deemed them necessary for women's health and well-being.

Duncan said Hobby Lobby and Mardel will continue to provide health insurance to all its qualified employees.

“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” Duncan said.


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