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U.S.: Judge must deny Hobby Lobby birth-control case

The federal government is urging a judge to deny a request by Hobby Lobby Stores to block enforcement of the new health care law's requirement that employers provide coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: October 24, 2012 at 11:46 am •  Published: October 24, 2012
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The U.S. government is urging a federal judge to deny a Hobby Lobby Stores request to block the enforcement of a new health care law that requires employers to give staff insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar drugs.

Last month, the arts and crafts supply chain filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City that alleges the mandate is unconstitutional. The company wants an injunction to prohibit the law's enforcement. The Oklahoma City-based store says the mandate will force its owners to violate deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines.

Government attorneys say Hobby Lobby cannot claim to exercise religion in an effort to avoid laws designed to regulate commercial activity.

A hearing is set on Nov. 1 before U.S District Judge Joe Heaton.

Read Hobby Lobby's statement about the government's response

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