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Hobby Lobby Wins: Christian-Owned Businesses Can Reject Birth-Control Mandate

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 30 that companies are not required to pay for employees’ contraceptives for women if the business has religious objections, announced The Christian Post. This landmark 5-4 decision came after private business owner Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, filed a lawsuit against the Health and Human Services division in Oklahoma in 2012 against the requirement that for-profit companies provide abortion-inducing drugs in employee health care plans. In July 2013, the Oklahoma Western District court granted Hobby Lobby its preliminary injunction, prompting the federal government to file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“The government is saying we have to provide prescriptions that are abortive and that violate our conscience, because we believe that life begins at conception and it’s something that we have no desire to fully fund, which is what the mandate requires,” said Green.

“We know that some of the freedoms in the First Amendment are available to for-profit companies … But, for some reason, the government says that in the religious freedoms that a for-profit company does not have those rights. I don’t know where they see that.”

According to ABC News, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion that a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for profit corporations like Conestoga and Hobby Lobby” and the “The HHS contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion.”

“The Government has failed to show that the contraceptive mandate is the least restrict means of furthering that interest,” according to the majority opinion.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, released a statement today following the Supreme Court’s ruling.  “This is a major victory for religious liberty and Christian conscience. It is not only a victory for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, but for the American people—especially as the key insight of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been so clearly confirmed.

“The major issue in this case was and is religious liberty as today’s decision makes very clear. The debate over contraception will continue, but the debate over religious liberty has been significantly strengthened and clarified by this landmark Supreme Court ruling.”