One of the most controversial provisions of ObamaCare — the mandate requiring employers to cover contraception — was debated before the Supreme Court today, as activists on both sides of the issue clashed outside the courtroom in Washington.
The justices appeared divided in the case, which is the highest-profile challenge to the health care law since the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the Affordable Care Act in 2012.
The case argued Tuesday involves family-owned companies, including Hobby Lobby, that provide health insurance to their employees, but object to covering certain methods of birth control that they say can work after conception, in violation of their religious beliefs.
But the Obama administration and its supporters say a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the businesses could also undermine laws governing immunizations, Social Security taxes and minimum wages.
The outcome could turn on the views of Justice Anthony Kennedy, often the decisive vote. Kennedy voiced concerns both about the rights of female employees and the business owners. Kennedy asked what rights would women have if their employers ordered them to wear burkas, a full-length robe commonly worn by conservative Islamic women.
Later in the 90-minute argument, he seemed troubled about how the logic of the government’s argument would apply to abortions. “A profit corporation could be forced in principle to pay for abortions,” Kennedy said. “Your reasoning would permit it.”
I want to tell you a story about the Green Family.
In 1972, David Green started Hobby Lobby, a chain of retail arts and crafts stores. By 2012, Hobby Lobby had more than 561 stores nationwide and a large distribution warehouse in Oklahoma City.
The Green Family built their company based on their Christian beliefs. For example, every store is closed on Sunday to observe the Sabbath and to give all employees a chance to attend religious services and spend time with their families.
Two years ago, the United States government told the Green family that they are required to provide health insurance to employees that included emergency contraceptives like the “morning after pill,” “Plan B,” and other types of medications that are taken after sex to stop a pregnancy.
The Green family, the sole owners of Hobby Lobby, decided that the Constitutional right to “free exercise of religion” provides them the ability to opt-out of providing any of the medications that would stop a pregnancy. The family told the United States government that “The Green family’s religious beliefs forbid them from participating in, providing access to, paying for, training others to engage in, or otherwise supporting abortion-causing drugs and devices.”
The Green Family exercised their First Amendment right, but the Government continued to ignore the Green’s position and continued to say that Hobby Lobby is mandated to provide health care plans to employees that include pregnancy stopping medications.
Now, the issue comes before the Supreme Court today. On one side, the Obama administration, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and other pro-Abortion special interest groups.
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments TODAY, but have the next few weeks to make a decision on whether the Constitutional right to Freedom of Religious expression still exists.
I am personal friends with the Green Family. Their corporate headquarters is in my Congressional District, and so are their homes.
I need help fighting for the Green Family and for our continued Right of Freedom of Religious expression.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt also today released a statement regarding the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I want to express my support for the Green Family and Hobby Lobby in their courageous stand for religious liberty. The Constitution guarantees that our faith is not confined to the four walls of a church, nor to a style of worship.
“The Constitution guarantees all American citizens the right to live out their faith in public,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “The federal health care law’s contraception mandate asks the Green Family to violate their faith or face excessive fines. Our Founding Fathers established a system to protect us from this type of coercive federal infringement on religious liberty. Lower courts have rightfully concluded that federal law protects the religious freedoms of Hobby Lobby and the Green Family. Prayerfully, the Supreme Court will arrive at the same conclusion and strike down the health care law’s contraception mandate.”
The State of Oklahoma has supported the Green family and Hobby Lobby at each step in the process. The Attorney General’s Office filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court supporting the Green Family’s fight for religious liberty,” Pruitt added.
Tulsa Today has covered this battle and will continue – we believe this battle for freedom many assumed guaranteed by the Bill of Rights will define our age and our nation for generations.