Kansas AG Backs Hobby Lobby's Fight Against Emergency Contraception

One national retail store is fighting against the Affordable Care Act and Kansas is joining in.

Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma based arts and crafts retail chain is contesting the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers cover emergency contraceptives.

The Kansas Attorney General's office along with 17 other states filed a brief this week with the U.S. Supreme court in support of Hobby Lobby Inc.

Hobby Lobby's founder and CEO David Green objects to the regulation based on his religious principles.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says in a statement that the issue is religious liberty. He says the constitution protects businesses that want to base policies on religious teachings.

Schmidt said, “This is true whether it is the [plaintiffs] operating their businesses based on their Christian principles, a Jewish-owned deli that does not sell non-kosher foods, or a Muslim-owned financial brokerage that will not lend money for interest. The idea is as American as apple pie.”

In two other cases, courts ruled for the administration. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets, is owned by a Mennonite family. Autocam Corp. is a Michigan-based maker of auto parts and medical devices that employs more than 650 people in the U.S.

The companies that have sued over the mandate have objections to different forms of birth control. Conestoga Wood objects to the coverage of Plan B and Ella, two emergency contraceptives that work mostly by preventing ovulation. The FDA says on its website that Plan B "may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg ... or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the womb (uterus)," while Ella also may work by changing of the lining of the uterus so as to prevent implantation.

Hobby Lobby objects to those two forms of contraception as well as two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Its owners say they believe life begins at conception, and they oppose only birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, but not other forms of contraception.

Autocam doesn't want to pay for any contraception for its employees because of its owners' Roman Catholic beliefs.

The supreme court is expected to argue the case in March, with a decision expected by summer.


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