Conestoga Wood Specialties was founded a half-century ago in a Pennsylvania garage. The Hahn family’s commitment to quality is driven in large part by their Christian faith, which in turn may soon threaten the company’s very existence.
That financial and constitutional dynamic is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, in a high-stakes encore to the health care reform law known as Obamacare. The justices will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a dispute involving contraception coverage and religious liberty.
The court will review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring for-profit employers of a certain size to offer insurance benefits for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. At issue is whether certain companies can refuse to do so on the sincere claim it would violate their owners’ long-established personal beliefs.
“Our religion is Mennonite; that is our faith. Our company was founded on that religion as well,” said Conestoga’s President Anthony Hahn, son of the privately held company’s co-founder. “We feel the government has gone too far in too many instances. It’s been troubling to us as a family.”