An attorney for Hobby Lobby Stores made a bold announcement today that the company plans to defy a federal mandate requiring them to offer the morning-after pill to their employees. The Hobby Lobby Stores are owned by a conservative Christian family who also own a religious book store called Mardel Inc.
The family disagrees with the mandate, which they describe as a violation of their religious freedom. ABC News reports that a statement issued on Hobby Lobby’s website by spokesperson Kyle Duncan explains their position on refusing to offer their employees the morning-after pill. It reads, in part:
“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
Hobby Lobby stores, which deal primarily in art and craft supplies, had previously requested that they be excluded from the new Obamacare mandate.
The mandate requires that all employees are required to provide healthcare for their employees. As reported by Think Progress, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that they would not allow an injunction against the mandate. A federal and district judge had previously made the same decision.
Religious organizations are granted constitutional protections from including birth-control methods in their employee healthcare programs. Hobby Lobby is not considered a religious organization by the court system.
The attorney quoted by USA Today, asserted that Hobby Lobby is fully prepared to defy the federal mandate and will refuse to offer their employees the morning-after pill, even if it means risking a $1.3 million fine per day.