As of January 1st, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, requires employers to provide all “approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capability.” Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the regulation, but there is also a narrow exemption that was added for nonprofit religious employers whose employees “primarily share its religious tenets.”
The owners of both the craft store Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian and educational book stores would seem to qualify. Bible-believing Christian families run the companies, play Christian music in their Hobby Lobby stores, and close on Sunday for a day of rest. Incidentally, they pay full-time employees a minimum wage that is over 50% higher than the federally required minimum wage.
It is worth noting that the private owners (the Green family) do cover contraceptives for their 13,500 full-time employees. They merely object to covering abortifacients like Plan B (the so-called morning after pill) and Ella (the week after pill).
Hoping to forestall the implementation of these federal fines by appealing to the Supreme Court, the two companies sued the government for violating the owner’s religious rights and ability to freely exercise their religion. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor rejected Hobby Lobby’s emergency request and now the owners are about to be fined more than a million dollars a day as they take this courageous stand for religious freedoms.
Some of our station programmers are encouraging a campaign to show support for Hobby Lobby, just as people did for Chick-fil-A, and have designated Saturday, January 5th to show support by shopping at a Holly Lobby store in your area.