The big news this week is the Supreme Court decision to protect religious freedom. In deciding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the justices voted 5-4 that the government cannot compel a “closely held” business to cover abortion-inducing drugs or devices in employee health plans IF doing so would violate the employer’s moral and religious beliefs. Approximately 300 companies filed court cases in opposition to the Obamacare provision that mandated such coverage. This case was filed by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two family-owned companies. One company is owned by evangelical Christians, and the other is owned by Mennonites; both families were fighting for their religious freedom.
The justices concluded that the Obamacare mandate burdens the exercise of religion. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion: “The Hahns [owners of Conestoga Wood] and the Greens [owners of Hobby Lobby] believe that providing the coverage demanded by the HHS regulations is connected to the destruction of an embryo in a way that is sufficient to make it immoral for them to provide the coverage.”
Despite this ruling, more than 300 other family businesses, schools, charitable organizations, and religious organizations are still fighting the HHS mandate. This mandate threatens the freedoms of Americans who desire to live according to their values and not a government order. The Hobby Lobby decision was a giant step in the right direction, and lower courts will take this decision into account as they judge other lawsuits; however, the entire health care law must be repealed in order to protect many freedoms.