Today, the Supreme Court decided to take up the Hobby Lobby’s Contraceptive case. The cases accepted were Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (13-354); and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius (13-356).
CNN reports that there are nearly 50 pending lawsuits filed in federal court from various corporations challenging the birth control coverage benefits in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The debate focuses on whether corporations themselves enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals. Three federal appeals courts around the country have struck down the contraception coverage rule, while two other appeals courts have upheld it. That “circuit split” made a Supreme Court review more likely.
I don’t know how the Court will rule, obviously, but I can attest that most small business owners consider their businesses an extension of their personhood and that includes their personal beliefs. Christian Business owners and those who own and run pornographic sites would agree on this point: they both run their businesses within the context of their personal beliefs. Being forced to pay for services that violate their personal values rubs many the wrong way and represents, in my mind, the encroaching power of the Federal Government into the personal and religious lives of its’ citizens.
If the State finds that providing abortive services is a compelling public service, there are less intrusive ways (and here) to accomplish this that don’t force business owners to violate their own values.
Bill English, CEO