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Court Sides With Hobby Lobby In Contraception Case

DICKSON CITY — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that closely held companies cannot be required to pay to cover some types of contraceptives for their employees, in a set-back for Obamacare, and a victory for a company that says it’s guided by “biblical principles.”

The Supreme Court decision touches on issues, including birth control, religious freedom, and Obamacare.

The case centered on whether a private company, Hobby Lobby, which has a store in our area has to provide contraception for employees under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The vote was 5 to 4, and it’s an apparent victory for Hobby Lobby. The company fought a provision of Obamacare that forced it to provide contraception to employees.

Hobby Lobby operates nearly 600 stores across the country. There is one store here in our area in Dickson City.

Its website says Hobby Lobby “operates in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”

It fought the Affordable Care Act, saying it was against some artificial means of birth control, and it shouldn’t have to provide that to its employees. The company likens those forms of birth control to abortion.

Protestors set up outside the Supreme Court Monday morning. A pro-life group says it supports religious freedom, and the law shouldn’t force people, like the Hobby Lobby owners, to violate their moral principles.

By a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court says Hobby Lobby is right. Its attorney was thrilled. A pro-choice lawyer was not.

“The Supreme Court recognized that American families do not lose their fundamental rights when they open a family business,” said Hobby Lobby attorney Lori Windham. “Women’s voices were heard, standing up for religious freedoms. This case is about the freedoms of all Americans, women and men, and it’s something that all Americans should celebrate today.”

“Their narrow judgment said that it’s absolutely OK for bosses to make personal decisions for women about our health care,” said Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The Supreme Court ruling is not a green light for companies to start pulling the plug on parts of Obamacare. It involves only corporations, like Hobby Lobby, that are under the control of just a few people where there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.

The National Organization for Women says the ruling shows a “shocking disregard for women’s health and lives.”

Connestoga Wood, a company controlled by Mennonites, fought alongside Hobby Lobby. It’s based in Lancaster County, and has a plant in Snyder County.

17 comments

  • Abe Simpson

    The important thing is that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

  • MWM

    “It fought the Affordable Care Act, saying it was against some artificial means of birth control, and it shouldn’t have to provide that to its employees. The company likens those forms of birth control to abortion.”
    Such as the morning after pill.
    “The National Organization for Women says the ruling shows a “shocking disregard for women’s health and lives.”
    Women’s “health” has nothing to do with abortion and morning after pills. NOW needs to keep things in perspective and in their proper compartments rather than make a mockery of women’s rights and confuse abortions rights with equal rights. Back in the days of suffrage it was never about abortion. It was about morals, a voice, voting, and equal value(s) as a human being as God Given Rights equal to that of men..save for the morals part, I think we should rise above.

    • mdog

      Its also perverted, here i am a boss man giving a hot chick employee
      birth control apparatus ? Because the gov says i have to ? She may tell me to stick up my
      ——
      I would feel like dirty pimp.

  • Bob Jones

    The owners of hobby lobby are hypocrites. They invest in the companies that make the abortion pill and all the stuff they sell is mostly made in China, where forced abortions still take place. You can bet if birth control pills/devices were made for men that there would be no debate as to whether they should be covered or not.

  • Wondering

    Does anyone know how each justice voted? I know the majority are Republican so I figured they would be on Hobby Lobby’s side. They opened a big can of worms. What if the business owners are Muslims or Jehovah Witness and they decide they aren’t going to cover anything that their religion doesn’t believe. If you allow one religious group to do this you have to let them all no matter what group they are.

  • Michelle

    Everyone should boycott this company. Corporations are not people, and they should not be allowed to enforce their religious beliefs (and poor understanding of medicine and science) upon their employees. IUDs and Plan B DO NOT CAUSE ABORTIONS. They prevent ovulation and do not terminate existing pregnancies.

    • Dennis

      Michelle, while I respect your right to an opinion, there are some holes in your post and a little intellectual dishonesty (intended or not) by way of omission of facts. First, Hobby Lobby is privately held. While it is incorporated (like many privately held concerns), it is owned mostly by the Green family. So your point about “corporations should not be allowed to enforce their religious beliefs” doesn’t apply to this case. Regarding the IUD, true, these devices are primarily used to prevent fertilization (step one in pregnancy), however, they are also used as an emergency contraceptive up to five days after fertilization to prevent the fertilized egg from attaching to the uteran wall (step two of pregnancy called implantation). This is the part that Hobby Lobby executives disagree with as it is at odds with the Statement of Faith that each of the company’s founders signed. What is glaringly missing in your post and in the national debate is the fact that Hobby Lobby pays for SIXTEEN forms of contraception. This is part and parcel of the intellectual dishonesty being used mostly by the liberal faction of the Democrat party to support the false narrative of the “war on women”. The reporting on this story has been horrendous as many of these facts are omitted–further evidence that our press for the most part no longer reports, but instead supports agendas/candidates. While you may wish a boycott–think about that. You’ll hurt innocent people who are working for a living. You’ll hurt their families and the communities that are served by Hobby Lobby. Have we come to that in this country??? We’ll wish harm (and business closure) on others because of policy disagreement or the outcome of a fairly adjudicated court case? That is especially concerning when 16 other forms of contraception are paid for by the company. So you’d close down the company, harm employees and families, and affect communities because an employee has to choose from a laundry list of other paid-for methods of contraception? This is what is wrong with our country today–in a way akin to fascism. When talking heads, politicians, and public figures like Sandra Fluke can control the discussion with disingenuous and/or incomplete information while John and Jane Q viewer consume a few words, a tweet, or a headline as the entire story—freedom is diminished. It is little wonder that DC is in the mess that it is. Honesty has taken a vacation as the power hungry hoodwink the electorate to further their own careers or agendas. Our forefathers are weeping.

      • Bob Jones

        Here is some clarification for everyone on emergency contraception. Both the “morning after” and “week after” pills do not inhibit implantation and do not kill fertilized eggs. If you have already ovulated, emergency contraception pills will not work. If you would like some evidence from a medical journal, please see here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20399948 . When IUDs are used as emergency contraception, they can prevent implantation (which according to the medical community and federal regulations is the first step in pregnancy). As a side note, naturally, up to 50% of fertilized eggs never implant in the uterus. IUDs are not often used as emergency contraception, as they can require up to 2 visits to insert, are expensive, and may need to be ordered. When not used as emergency birth control, IUDs work primarily by damaging or killing sperm before it has a chance to fertilize an egg. Hormonal IUDs can also thin the lining of the uterus and/or thicken cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. IUDs can also have some effects on inhibiting implantation. IUDs are very expensive without insurance, and, like many other forms of birth control, can be used to treat other medical conditions. Some women cannot take traditional hormonal birth control and may need to use the copper-based IUDs.

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