The Corner

Hobby Lobby Case Moot Soon?

I have been thinking about the court ruling requiring the morning after pill to be available over the counter to women and girls of all ages, which I discuss over at Human Exceptionalism. But it hit me that if the ruling sticks–and I believe the Obama Administration actually wants that result–it could moot out the Hobby Lobby case against the Free Birth Control Rule.

Here’s my thinking: As I understand it, Hobby Lobby’s owners are Protestant and are not suing over contraception, but the morning after pill, which its owners consider an abortifacient, and hence, against their religion to supply. The drug has been available over the counter for women for some time, but not for minor girls, who still require a prescription. But if the drug is available universally over the counter, I don’t see how the government could continue to require businesses to cover a drug that does not have to be prescribed. If I am right, Hobby Lobby’s objection would be resolved.  

Many of the other lawsuits against the rule would continue, of course, since many businesses whose owners oppose contraception for religious reasons will be taking the issue to the Supremes. But the case would be moot as to the biggest plaintiff. It would also take the “abortion” aspect out of the case, which may be more potent emotionally for the justices than objections to birth control.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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