A popular arts and crafts store filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Wednesday, challenging the mandate under Obamacare that all employers provide insurance coverage for abortifacients such as the morning-after pill to their staff members.
Hobby Lobby, which was founded in 1972 by evangelical Christians, is asking a court in Oklahoma to grant a permanent injunction against the requirement, advising that it cannot and will not comply.
“These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families,” David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, wrote in a statement.
“We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate,” he continued. “By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow.”
The Becket Fund for Religous Liberty, which is representing the company, says that Hobby Lobby could face penalties of 1.3 million a day if it fails to provide the required coverage.
“Hobby Lobby should never be put in the position of choosing its faith over its business,” stated attorney Kyle Duncan. “This mandate violates the religious liberty of millions of Americans. The government has turned a deaf ear to the rights of business owners.”
All employers have until January 1, 2013 to comply with the law or face similar penalties. Hobby Lobby is currently self-insured.
To date, 27 lawsuits have been filed against Obamacare, opining that forcing religious institutions to lay aside their convictions regarding abortion is unconstitutional. As previously reported, a number of these lawsuits include Christian colleges.
“The Sixth Commandment says thou shall not murder,” stated Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard, who filed a lawsuit in July of this year. “The government is imposing their religion of murder on us and I think it’s time for the people of our country to wake up and stand together.”
“At Geneva College, we have only one Lord, and he does not live in Washington, D.C.,” declared Geneva College President Ken Smith of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit filed this week also covers Mandel, Inc., a Christian bookstore chain owned by Hobby Lobby’s president David Green.
The popular arts and crafts franchise, which sells everything from scrapbooking supplies to picture frames and home accents, operates 500 stores in 41 states and maintains over 13,000 employees. According to its website, the business supports a number of Christian organizations, including Every Home for Christ, the Harbor House Foundation and the evangelical children’s ministry One Hope.
“In order to effectively serve our owners, employees and customers, the Board of Directors is committed to honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles,” reads the company’s mission statement. “We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future.”