The Christian founded arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby may shut down all of its 588 stores across the country due to the new healthcare insurance law that requires coverage of abortion-causing drugs. The company has filed their case to court, stating that the health care rule violates their First Amendment rights of religious freedom.
According to CEO David Green, Hobby Lobby has granted jobs to many Americans during the recession and pays 80% above the minimum wage. With the mandate of covering abortion in health care insurance, Green believes it goes directly against their Christian morals and beliefs. "The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make."
However, Senator Pat Murray believes that the company has no right to intervene in a women's health care, stating that it takes away their rights. "Allowing a woman's boss to call the shots about her access to birth control should be inconceivable to all Americans in this day and age, and takes us back to a place in history when women had no voice or choice," said Murray. Including Murray, 19 democratic Senators have also filed an amicus brief in the case.
Green began the company in Oklahoma in 1970 in a small 300 square feet retail space with his family that has since grown in 41 states. The family business has since become one of the largest arts and crafts store in the country. Running the "business on Christian principles," Hobby Lobby closes early at 8p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed Sunday to grant employees time with their families.
The company may face shutdown of all stores if it refuses to comply with the new laws. The company may be charged $1.3 million a day on government fines if it does not cooperate with the new mandate. Green states that their company should not be forced to make a decision over their religious views. "The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost," said Green in a press release. "But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
Green remains focused on the case, but continues to reiterate that the company will first and foremost honor God and place people ahead of its profits. "We believe that it is by God's grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future."
The Supreme Court will hear the case on March 25 with a possible decision being made around June of this year.