Hobby Lobby to defy mandate on contraceptives

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Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 12:00 am

After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft chain Hobby Lobby will defy a federal health care mandate requiring employers to provide its workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives.

The Oklahoma City-based chain, which is owned by a conservative Christian family also with holdings in the religious bookseller Mardel Inc., had applied to the Supreme Court to block a part of the federal health care law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs including the morning-after pill.

After the court refused to block the mandate, a lawyer for Hobby Lobby said the Green family will defy the law and refuse to provide health coverage for contraception they considered to be “abortion-inducing.”

Hobby Lobby and Mardel could be fined as much as $1.3 million a day starting today.

“They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the company, said in a statement. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”

At the time of their lawsuit, the Green family said certain types of contraception such as the morning-after pill and the week-after pill violated their religious beliefs against abortion.

Meanwhile, a federal judge on Sunday ruled that a property management company owned by the founder of Domino’s Pizza doesn’t have to immediately implement the mandatory contraception coverage.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff ruled in favor of Tom Monaghan and his Domino’s Farms Corp., near Ann Arbor. Monaghan, a devout Catholic, says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice.

Zatkoff granted Monaghan’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order until a final decision is made in the case.

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