Hobby Lobby Gets Boost in Battle Against Abortion Mandate

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Hobby Lobby Gets Boost in Battle Against Abortion Mandate


Hobby Lobby's legal battle against the abortion/contraceptive mandate received a boost March 29 when the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear the company's case, Baptist Press reports. The 10th Circuit said it would expedite oral arguments and set a date soon. Such "en banc" hearings are relatively rare. Under the federal government's mandate, businesses must cover contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs as part of their employee health insurance plans. The Christian owners of Hobby Lobby are arguing that the mandate violates their beliefs and constitutionally protected freedoms, and the company could face millions in fines if a court does not intervene. In November, a federal judge ruled that Hobby Lobby must cover the drugs in its health insurance plans, and in December a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit refused to step in and prevent Hobby Lobby from being impacted by the mandate. "Full court review is reserved only for the most serious legal questions," said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby. "This case asks whether the First Amendment protects everyone's right to religious freedom, or whether it leaves out religious business owners."

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