Injunction: Gov’t Can’t Enforce Sterilization-Contraception-Abortifacient Mandate Against Hobby Lobby

July 19, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Hobby Lobby Birth Control

Customers are seen at a Hobby Lobby store in Denver on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  The Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain says the HHS mandate violates the religious beliefs of its owners. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(CNSNews.com) – A federal district court has granted Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from enforcing its Obamacare mandate that the Christian  company carry health insurance that offers contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs free of charge.

Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel are suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, arguing that to force the company to pay for health insurance that must offer abortion-inducing drugs, as well as sterilization and contraception, is a violation of its religious liberty.

“The tide has turned against the HHS mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for Hobby Lobby.

In an opinion read from the bench, the court today said, “There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that no individual or corporation has their legs cut out from under them while these difficult issues are resolved.”

In a press release, the Becket Fund said, “This is a major victory for not only Hobby Lobby but the religious liberty of all for-profit businesses.”

As the injunction stands now and as case moves forward in the courts, Hobby Lobby will not have to comply with the Obamacare mandate or pay any financial penalties related to non-compliance.

“Today the abortion-pill mandate took another blow," said Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association. "The courts have once again ruled that family business owners like the Green family of Hobby Lobby do not have to violate their consciences to enter the marketplace. We hope that other courts follow suit and restore religious liberty to all employers. And we hope that the Obama administration finally gets the message that the abortion-pill mandate is a blatant infringement on First Amendment rights and religious freedom.”

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