10th Circuit Hears Hobby Lobby Contraception CasePosted: June 4, 2013
Last week, the privately owned retail chain Hobby Lobby took its challenge of the federal contraception mandate to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The health care reform law been under fire ever since its inception due to the provision that employers must provide health coverage that provides access all forms of FDA-approved birth control and to the morning-after pill.
In its arguments, Hobby Lobby claimed that for-profit business should be allowed to seek exemption from that section of the healthcare law if it violates their religious beliefs. The stores are a “profit-making company, yes, but also a ministry,” Hobby Lobby’s lawyer argued. They also cited the Citizens United campaign-finance decision that gave corporations many constitutional protections.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s arguments centered around the notion that allowing for-profit corporations to exempt themselves from requirements that violate their religious beliefs would be in effect allowing the business to impose its religious beliefs on employees – a direct violation of the Constitution.
“If you make an exemption for the employer, it comes at the expense of the employee,” said Alisa Klein, from the Department of Justice. Klein also compared Hobby Lobby’s arguments to similar claims from pacifists who believe they shouldn’t pay taxes into the general treasury due to military spending.
Contraception is a critical part of reproductive healthcare for all Americans and the number one way to reduce the need and incidence of abortion.