The Edmond Sun

July 19, 2013

Court grants Hobby Lobby injunction from health care penalties

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Congressman James Lankford said Friday that he agrees with a temporary injunction decision for Hobby Lobby by the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma.

Judge Joe Heaton of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued a preliminary injunction Friday to Hobby Lobby while their religious liberty case proceeds through the legal system.

Recent federal health care laws would force Hobby Lobby to comply with a mandate to include birth control in health insurance plans.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby has argued that offering workers birth control through health care insurance would violate their religious beliefs.

“I am pleased Judge Heaton decided to shield Oklahoma’s Hobby Lobby from the exorbitant costs the President’s health care law would levy on their family owned business,” said Lankford, R-Edmond.

Lankford said the injunction is good until Oct. 1. Until then, Hobby Lobby will be protected from $1.3 million in daily federal fines.

“Hobby Lobby will not face that astronomical fine until the court finally decides whether its owners will be required — against their Christian beliefs — to supply free abortifacient drugs to their employees in compliance with the president’s health care law,” Lankford said.

Lankford said he will pray that the court will provide clarity and rule on this case before the Oct. 1 injunction deadline.

The Obama administration claims to support religious freedom, said Matt Bowman, legal counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The only thing unwavering is the administration’s tenacious opposition to that freedom,” Bowman said. | 341-2121