TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge rejects lawsuit over birth control law

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 8:38 p.m.
 

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge on Monday rejected a request by Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. to block part of the federal health care law that requires it to provide the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law that will require it to include contraceptives the company considers objectionable in its health insurance plan.

The Oklahoma City-based arts and craft supply company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September claiming that the companies' Christian owners believe use of the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's womb. The company's owners object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

At a hearing this month, a government lawyer said the drugs do not cause abortions and that the United States has a compelling interest in mandating insurance coverage for them.

In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction, Heaton noted churches and other religious organizations or religious corporations have been granted constitutional protection from provisions of the law regarding the birth-control measures.

“However, Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations,” the ruling states. “Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.”

Hobby Lobby's attorney said the companies' owners, the Green family, plan to appeal.

“Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Rollout of health exchange draws flak from GAO official
  2. IRS calls right-wing Republicans ‘crazies’ in emails
  3. Tea Party opposition threatens House GOP’s border bill
  4. House’s vote to sue Obama is historic foray into checks, balances
  5. 6 narcotics officers charged with racketeering
  6. Ground Zero ship dated to 1773
  7. Charges against Fla. mom raise ire
  8. Stowaway’s access to Air Force plane eyed
  9. N.Y. opera proposes mediation as lockout looms
  10. $17B emergency funding for Veterans Affairs health care system passes House, heads to Senate
  11. Witnesses added for Benghazi hearing
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.