You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Birth control coverage up for federal appeal


By Kristen Wyatt

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — In the most prominent challenge of its kind, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. asked a federal appeals court Thursday for an exemption from part of the federal health care law that requires it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill.

The Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain argues that businesses — not just the currently exempted religious groups — should be allowed to seek exception from that part of the health law if it violates their religious beliefs.

“They ought to be able — just like a church, just like a charity — to have the right to opt out of a provision that infringes on their religious beliefs,” said Kyle Duncan, who argued before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Green family, the founders of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and a sister company, Christian booksellers Mardel Inc.

The Greens contend that emergency contraception is tantamount to abortion because it can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

Lower courts have rejected Hobby Lobby’s claim, saying that for-profit businesses aren’t covered by an exemption added to the law for religious organizations. That exemption applies to churches themselves, but not to affiliated nonprofit corporations, like hospitals, that do not rely primarily on members of the faith as employees.

In a decision issued late last year, a federal judge concluded simply, “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.”

But U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton in Oklahoma City also wrote that “the court is not unsympathetic” to Hobby Lobby’s dilemma and that the question of compelling employer health coverage for certain procedures “involves largely uncharted waters.”

Other businesses in multiple states are challenging the contraception mandate, too. Hobby Lobby is the most prominent company making the claim. Two smaller companies based in Indiana and Illinois made similar argument in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday.

As in Chicago, the U.S. Justice Department will argue for the government that the contraception mandate should stay.

The 10th Circuit opted to hear the case before eight active judges, not the typical three-judge panel, indicating the case’s importance.

In December, the 10th Circuit denied Hobby Lobby’s request for an injunction to prevent it being subject to fines while its argument was on appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court also denied an injunction, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor writing that it was not “indisputably clear” that Hobby Lobby needed immediate protection.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans
Premier, UnitedHealthcare negotiations continue over health plans

Contract talks between the region’s largest health system and insurer UnitedHealthcare remain at an impasse as a deadline approaches that could jeopardize the health plans of up to 70,000 local residents. Premier Health and UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest group health insurers in the area, have been at an impasse in talks to renew their...
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses
Dayton-area event will feature 500 small businesses

Ohio’s largest small-business-to-government-contracting event is set to happen Wednesday, the Ohio Development Services Agency said. The 2017 Ohio Business Matchmaker will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Wright State University’s Ervin J. Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn. RELATED: Defense contractor opens new office...
Honda supplier gets state tax credit to bring 85 jobs to Springfield
Honda supplier gets state tax credit to bring 85 jobs to Springfield

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority unanimously approved today a seven-year tax credit for Topre America Corp.’s new Springfield plant. The tax credits are expected to help the company create at least 85 new jobs and generate more than $3 million in new payroll. RELATED: Honda supplier to add 85 jobs, invest $55M in Springfield plant Topre is a Honda...
RECALL: Lay’s chips recalled for potential Salmonella contamination
RECALL: Lay’s chips recalled for potential Salmonella contamination

Frito-Lay has voluntarily recalled two of its brand of snacks, including its Jalapeño-flavored potato chips. The Jalapeno Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips and Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato have been recalled due to a potential presence of Salmonella in the seasoning. Salmonella can cause serious...
Sam’s Club introduces 300 new products, including wine
Sam’s Club introduces 300 new products, including wine

Sam’s Club has relaunched its private brand, adding more than 300 new products this year. The warehouse club revamped its Member’s Mark brand, which represents $10 billion in sales for the division of Walmart. The new product line covers everything from food products to general merchandise. In addition to redesigning the brand’s labels...
More Stories