- (Photo: The Becket Fund)
An Oklahoma-based evangelical Christian-led business will present arguments in federal court regarding a preliminary injunction against the HHS Mandate next Thursday.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a retail chain with an estimated 22,500 employees, will present its argument for an injunction before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.
At issue is Hobby Lobby's owner's opposition to the HHS Mandate, which would compel the business to provide the certain medical services considered contrary to the owners' beliefs.
Hobby Lobby, which is owned by the Green family, is being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. In a statement, the Becket Fund detailed why the arts and crafts chain opposed the mandate.
"The Green family has no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue its longstanding practice of covering these preventive contraceptives for its employees," reads the statement.
"However, it is in violation of the Green families' faith to provide or pay for the 'morning-after pill' and the 'week-after pill,' believing that life begins at conception, when an egg is fertilized."
In September, Hobby Lobby filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services over the controversial "preventive services" mandate. While several businesses had filed suit against HHS over the past several months, Hobby Lobby was the first non-Catholic business to do so.
David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, explained in a teleconference press meeting why he was suing the federal government.
"We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs and comply with this mandate. We know that we have been blessed by God's grace and believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His Word and we are very grateful for that. But our faith is being challenged by the federal government," said Green.
Later that month, Hobby Lobby would receive a petition from a religious activist group demanding that they drop the lawsuit against the HHS mandate. About 80,000 signatories were listed.
"Don't use your Christian faith as an excuse to obstruct health care reform and deny women access to birth control. I won't shop at your store until you drop this lawsuit, and I'll tell my friends to do the same," reads the petition from the group "Faithful America."
Becket Fund attorney Kyle Duncan, who is helping represent Hobby Lobby, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview that the petition was "misleading."
"It makes it seem as if Hobby Lobby is seeking to exclude birth control from its health plan all together. That's just not true," said Duncan.
"The Green family and Hobby Lobby do not have any religious objection to birth control per se. Their plans have covered preventive contraceptives and will continue to do so."
According to the Becket Fund, at present there are a total of 33 different ongoing suits against HHS over the "preventive services" mandate.