Hobby Lobby contests federal health mandate


OKLAHOMA CITY — Christian-oriented Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging a mandate in the nation’s health-care overhaul law that requires employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill.

The lawsuit by the Oklahoma City chain claims the government mandate is forcing the company’s owners “to violate their deeply held religious beliefs under threat of heavy fines, penalties and lawsuits.”

Failure to provide the drugs in the company’s health insurance plan could lead to fines of up to $1.3 million a day, the company said.

“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder, said in a statement. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

Hobby Lobby calls itself a “biblically founded business” that is closed on Sundays.