What is the government’s position?
While claiming the mandate is necessary for women’s health, the Obama administration has exempted the health-care plans of tens of millions of women from the HHS mandate — often for merely political or commercial reasons. But the government is unrelenting in enforcing this mandate against a relatively small number of family businesses that simply want to provide health care without being forced to violate their conscience under threat of heavy fines.
Throughout the litigation over the rule, the Obama administration essentially argued that families such as the Greens and the Hahns lost their right to religious freedom when they went into business to provide for themselves, their families, and their employees.What’s at stake in these cases?
The challenges posed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood raise fundamental questions about what religious freedom is and whether the government should be able to pick and choose who gets to live out their faith.
This is a debate that every American should care about. You don’t have to agree with the Hahns and Greens to recognize that the government should not be able to force Americans to set aside their deeply held beliefs simply because they go into business to create jobs and serve their communities.
All Americans, whether they’re in their homes, at their place of worship, or running a business or charity, should be free to live according to their convictions.
So this isn’t about taking away birth control?
Absolutely not. All women, including those who work for the Greens and Hahns, remain free to make their own decisions about these drugs and devices — and to purchase or find insurance coverage for them. These families simply ask that the government not force them to participate in those decisions.
When will the Supreme Court make its decision?
The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in these cases by the end of June.
— Sarah Torre is a policy analyst in the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.