Hobby Lobby Gets Crafty

US Supreme Court Rules Exception to Obama Birth Control Mandate


Emotions were high as this highly politicized case drew to a close.

Heather Gammon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Separation of church and state is an age old story in America, going all the way back to the Bill of Rights. But this is still a bone of contention for Americans. It seems this barrier and its implications have been under fire since the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, has been passed.

Hobby Lobby, a craft chain store that, along with Congesta Wood Specialties Corp., challenged the health law’s contraception mandate. The basis of their argument was the claim that Obamacare violates the First Amendment because it requires companies to provide coverage for contraceptives. These family run, Christian corporations consider contraceptives such as the “morning-after pill” to be the equivalent of abortion. These companies sought exception from the new health law, asking to be able to refuse to pay for workers’ contraception, on the sincere claim it would contravene their owners’ long-established religious convictions.

This case has reached the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, and has been resolved with a landmark ruling on June 30, 2014. The Justices ruled 5-4, in favor of Hobby Lobby, a decision of boundless significance and a precedent for future cases. Truly a remarkable day for religious organizations, this is the first time the court has ruled that for-profit businesses can cite religious views under federal law.

Such a convoluted mix of legal and constitutional concerns over such the extent of religious right has created many vocal advocates, for and against, the outcome of the lawsuit. Some tout it as a victory for religious freedom in an increasingly secular society. Others label it as a blow to Obamacare, a health care plan intended to better the nation.

Regardless of those businesses of religious affiliation, healthcare, including contraception, will be provided to all. White House spokesman Josh Earnest implied this while telling reporters that the Obama administration will work with Congress to ensure women affected by the ruling will continue to have coverage for contraceptives.