A Christian-run business has won a “landmark” religious liberty case in the US Supreme Court – meaning it will not have to provide health insurance covering abortion-inducing drugs.
Hobby Lobby – which has over 600 arts and crafts stores across 47 US states – said the decision allows them to continue operating “according to our principles”.
In a 5-4 ruling released yesterday, the Supreme Court backed the business, and a number of other family-run companies who have similar convictions.
The case centred on the Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – which obliges employers to provide health insurance policies including ‘contraception’ which acts to destroy human embryos.
Hobby Lobby wanted to be free not to provide insurance that covers such abortion-inducing drugs as the morning-after pill and the ‘week-after pill’.
The result was described as a “great day for religious liberty” by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty – which represented Hobby Lobby.
Lori Windham, from the group, said: “This is a landmark decision for religious freedom. The Supreme Court recognized that Americans do not lose their religious freedom when they run a family business”.
The decision was welcomed by Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who called it a “landmark case that will reshape the religious liberty debate for generations to come”.
He described the Green family, who run Hobby Lobby, as “a bulwark of evangelical Christian conviction and generosity”, explaining: “The company pays its employees about twice the minimum wage, closes on Sundays, and references the Christian gospel in advertising.”
“All along the way, the Green family makes clear that they are driven by Christian convictions in their corporate policies”, he added.
Dr Mohler also described the ruling as “yet another repudiation of the heavy-handed and blatantly unconstitutional overreach of President Barack Obama and his administration”.