Craft store chain Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Obama administration’s requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives for women, citing the owner’s religious beliefs and opposition to covering abortion-inducing drugs.
The rule change took effect for businesses on Aug. 1, and requires coverage for sterilization, contraception and some abortion-causing drugs. Hobby Lobby is the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the mandate thus far, joining 26 other separate lawsuits. A variety of religious groups have pushed back against the rule, saying it is a violation of their fundamental right to religious freedom.
Critics of the mandate have pointed out that while there are exemptions for places of worship, the exemptions are so narrow that they would disqualify those who serve people outside of their faith, like Mother Teresa and Jesus Christ. Religiously affiliated organizations such as hospitals, school and charities are not exempted, and non-profits have until Aug. 1, 2013, to comply.