A federal judge told Hobby Lobby – a Christian-owned and run business that employs thousands in more than 500 retail locations – they must provide coverage for the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan. The judge ruled since Hobby Lobby was not a church or religious group as defined by Obamacare regulations, they do not qualify for an exemption.
I knew this would eventually come up, but I guess I’m surprised it came up so soon. Good.
This is about the First Amendment and religious freedom … not a woman’s access to health care. The access argument is completely wrong simply because employees are not cutting off access, they just refuse to pay for the morning after pill. They employee can go buy it themselves. From LifeNews.com.
The privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The company says it would face $1.3 million in fines on a daily basis starting in January if it fails to comply with the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-cause drugs that violate their conscience or religious beliefs.
The judge said their moral sensibilities are only being “indirectly burdened”…
The court did not question that the Green family has sincere religious beliefs forbidding them from participating in abortion. The court ruled, however, that those beliefs were only “indirectly” burdened by the mandate’s requirement that they provide free coverage for specific, abortion-inducing drugs in Hobby Lobby’s self-funded insurance plan.
I’ve been saying over and over and over again, human rights and Constitutional rights exist simultaneously between people. It’s immoral and unlawful to practice a right if it limits or takes a right from someone else. You can’t just walk into someone’s home or business and take something and declare it’s “your right” to have it. Sorry, it does not work that way.
This Obama administration thinks if you own your own business, you leave your rights at home and they do not apply at the for-profit business you run. I’m sorry, but Christians don’t manage their lives that way.
Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, sums up the Obama administration’s argument pretty well I think.
The administration’s arguments in this case are shocking. Here’s what they are saying: once someone starts a “secular” business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built. Kosher butchers around the country must be shocked to find that they now run “secular” businesses. On this view of the world, even a seller of Bibles is “secular.” Hobby Lobby’s affiliate, Mardel, sells Bibles and other Christian-themed material, but because it makes a profit the government has now declared it “secular.”
The administration’s position here — while astonishing — is actually consistent with its overall view of the place of religion in civil society. After all, this is the administration who argued in the Hosanna-Tabor case last year in the Supreme Court that the religion clauses of the First Amendment offered no special protection to a church’s right to choose its ministers — a position that the Court rejected 9-0. This is the administration which has taken to referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” — suggesting that religious freedom consists in being free to engage in private rituals and prayers, but not in carrying your religious convictions into public life. And this is the administration who crafted a “religious employer” exemption to the HHS mandate so narrow that a Catholic charity does not qualify for conscience protection if it serves non-Catholic poor people.