Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The popular craft chain Hobby Lobby has decided that it will defy the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare when the requirement goes into effect on January 1st, and risk millions in fines while its case moves forward in the courts.
The company announced its decision through a statement issued by its attorney, Kyle Duncan of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” he explained. “Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time. It left open the possibility of review after their appeal is completed in the Tenth Circuit.”
“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan added.
While Hobby Lobby states that it has been covering, and will continue to cover, birth control for its over 13,000 employees nationwide, it refuses to pay for two pills that are included in Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate: the morning-after pill and the week-after pill.
“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,” CEO David Green wrote in a statement earlier this year. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate. … 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.”
Hobby Lobby has opted to rather risk paying $1.3 million per day in fines — over $40 million in January alone — rather than to violate its convictions regarding drugs that it believes cause abortions.
“This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake,” outlines Breitbart.com writer Ken Klukowski. “The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.”
Klukowski explained that Hobby Lobby’s actions are Biblical.
“The Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity,” he said. “When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: ‘Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”
“Eleven of the twelve apostles—including Peter—would lose their lives for the sake of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; only the apostle John died of old age. They were determined to obey God’s will at all costs,” Klukowski added. “[But], this issue of civil disobedience is never to be undertaken lightly. The Bible teaches Christians to submit to all legitimate governmental authority, and so a person can only disobey the government when there is no other way to obey God.”
As previously reported, Hobby Lobby, owned by evangelical Christian David Green, has been seeking an emergency injunction from all available venues since its request was first turned down by a federal district court in Oklahoma City. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton, appointed by George W. Bush, ruled against the company last month, opining that Hobby Lobby and its bookstore chain Mardel are not entitled to an exemption from the national healthcare law because “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.” He stated that while churches and non-profit entities may qualify for an exemption under Obamacare, a secular business is not a religious institution.
The company then appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, asking the court that it overturn the lower court’s decision and grant the injunction. However, the three-judge panel refused to issue the restraining order, stating similar reasoning as Heaton.
Hobby Lobby then took its request to the nation’s highest court, but earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that it was not “indisputably clear” that Hobby Lobby’s request met the very high bar needed for an injunction. She pointed to the fact that the lower circuit courts have been divided on the matter, insinuating that the craft chain still has a chance at eventually winning.
“Even without an injunction pending appeal, the applicants may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts,” Sotomayor wrote. “Following a final judgment, they may, if necessary, file a petition [in the Supreme Court].”