OKLAHOMA CITY – The Supreme Court today ruled Oklahoma based Hobby Lobby will not have to cover so-called abortion inducing drugs mandated for coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act.
The Supreme Court handed down their decision Monday morning, saying, in essence, Hobby Lobby is exempt thanks to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
It’s a huge decision, one which will likely set the precedent for numerous cases to come.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said, “They were literally living out their faith, living out their convictions through their company.”
The U.S. Supreme Court said the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, can continue to do so.
Pruitt said, “I’m just glad the cause of the first amendment, religious liberty, won out.”
The court ruled in a 5-4 decision Hobby Lobby and two other companies can be exempt from the contraceptive mandate within the Affordable Health Care Act.
The Green family released statement on YouTube, saying, in part, “We are truly thankful for a decision which allows us to continue operating our family business according to our principles.”
The Supreme Court in their decision wrote that the decision applies to companies which are “closely held,” owned and operated by a single family.
Tamya Cox, with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, said, “We don’t know how many people this is going to affect.”
While Planned Parenthood is disappointed with the decision, they say it does not mean women will not have access to birth control.
Cox said, “We definitely think it’s important to know this case did not strike down all of the birth control mandate from the ACA.”
Attorney General Scott Pruitt says this decision is not only big for the Green family, but for religious freedom throughout the country.
He said, “Here the court said something I think that is very consistent with the history of the first amendment, it’s not a freedom of worship that is protected, it’s your ability to act out your faith in the public square.”
The court was very specific that the ruling applies to those closely held corporations, not companies which are publicly traded.