STATEMENT ON HOBBY LOBBY SUPREME COURT CASE
Executive Director of Communications and Planning
Today the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case vis-à-vis Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, regarding the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) mandate forcing businesses to violate their First Amendment Right to freedom of religion.
The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance coverage including contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients. This remains a matter of grave concern for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, in union with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as those who would defend life and the Constitution of the United States.
Hobby Lobby's case is being represented by the Becket Fund, a religious liberty law firm. It is one of two cases to reach the Supreme Court that focus on requirements in the Affordable Care Act that employer-provided health insurance plans include coverage of contraceptives, sterilizations and other types of birth control that opponents say can induce an abortion. The other case involves Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania family-run company that makes cabinets.
Today’s case, Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby, is expected to determine whether the government has the power to force for-profit business owners to act against their faith. At issue in both cases will be First Amendment arguments that the contraceptive mandate violates the owners' Free Exercise rights as well as their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was enacted in 1993.
The issue at hand is the protection of one of our most basic freedoms—the freedom of religious rights.
The stance of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is that until the Constitutional rights are upheld of those who do not wish to provide contraceptives, sterilizations, or abortions against their will, we cannot surrender our campaign for conscience rights. We will continue to demand religious liberty and to protect our first, most-cherished freedom.