Thousands shop to support Hobby Lobby, the company’s lawsuit against contraception mandate from Obamacare
Hobby Lobby customers nationwide showed their support over the weekend for the company’s fight against a federal mandate to provide emergency contraceptives in its health insurance plan.
“Thousands” of shoppers turned out to Hobby Lobby locations nationwide on January 5 – dubbed Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day – to support the retailer in its willingness to risk massive federal fines in fighting Obamacare regulations.
The retailer filed a lawsuit in September, saying a mandate by the Health and Human Services Department to provide “morning-after pill” and “week after pill” in its health insurance plan violates its religious beliefs.
“Today is Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day! Please bring your friends and remind your family across the country to head to Hobby Lobby to show their support for religious freedom and free speech,” wrote former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who was behind the wildly successful Chick-fil-A effort.
Hobby Lobby is the largest business to file a lawsuit against the mandate, according to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Washington, D.C-based law firm representing Hobby Lobby in the case.
More than 40 other businesses, colleges, Catholic charities and dioceses have filed similar lawsuits challenging the mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg is not among the list but previously said it was a “disappointment” that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law.
Hobby Lobby, which has more than 500 stores and 13,000 employees nationwide, faces fines of $1.3 million a day for not complying with the mandate.
“We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles … I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money … but now, our government threatens to change all that,” Hobby Lobby owner David Green related in an open statement.
After their request for an injunction was denied in U.S. District Court, attorneys for Hobby Lobby filed an emergency application for injunction with the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied on Dec. 27.
“Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time. It left open the possibility of review after their appeal is completed in the 10th Circuit,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement. “The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”