After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft chain Hobby Lobby will defy a federal healthcare mandate requiring employers to provide its workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives.
The Oklahoma City-based chain, which is owned by a conservative Christian family also with holdings in the religious bookseller Mardel Inc., had applied to the Supreme Court to block a part of the federal healthcare law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs including the morning-after pill.
After the court refused to block the mandate, a lawyer for Hobby Lobby said the Green family will defy the law and refuse to provide health coverage for contraception they considered to be “abortion-inducing.”
Hobby Lobby and Mardel could be fined as much as $1.3 million a day starting Tuesday.
“They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the company, said in a statement. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”
At the time of their lawsuit, the Green family said certain types of contraception such as the morning-after pill and the week-after pill violated their religious beliefs against abortion.
Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi