The 10th Circuit on Thursday denied Hobby Lobby’s request to be exempted from the portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives.
The owners of the arts and crafts retail chain argue that the mandate violates their Christian beliefs. The contraceptives at issue—the “morning after” and “week after” birth control pills—prevent ovulation or fertilization. Because they can keep fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterine wall, Hobby Lobby’s founder David Green says, they are tantamount to abortion.
In November, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied the company’s request for a preliminary injunction against the contraceptive mandate. In his ruling, Heaton said that although “the court [was] not unsympathetic” to the retailer’s dilemma, he had “not found any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and [sister company] Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.”
The company, which says it would face up to $1.3 million in daily fines if it does not comply with the mandate by Jan. 1, plans to appeal the verdict to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read more at Thomson Reuters.
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