Contraceptive mandate rulings seem contradictorycomment (0)
December 13, 2012
A federal court has handed a leading Bible publisher a major victory over the Obama administration’s abortion/contraceptive mandate, but Hobby Lobby and Mardel stores were not given such a victory.
A federal district court issued a temporary injunction Nov. 16 preventing the administration from requiring Tyndale House Publishers to cover contraceptives that can cause chemical abortions such as Plan B and ella.
On Nov. 19 a federal judge ruled the opposite with Hobby Lobby and Mardel stores, stating that they must cover the same abortion-causing drugs for their employees because the companies — despite having faith as a central element of their operations — are not religious enough to warrant a court intervention.
Judge Reggie B. Walton, who defended Tyndale House, wrote, “The contraceptive coverage mandate ... places the plaintiffs in the untenable position of choosing either to violate their religious beliefs ... or to subject their business to the continual risk of the imposition of enormous penalties for its noncompliance.”
A handful of courts have passed rulings against the mandate, which was implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Judge Joe Heaton, who handled the Hobby Lobby/Mardel case, said the health care law was not unconstitutional and that “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.”
With more than 500 stores, Hobby Lobby’s owners always have made their faith a central part of their business. Their stores play Christian music and are closed on Sundays.