Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retailer founded by evangelical Christians, sued the Obama administration on Wednesday to stop a mandate under the federal healthcare reform law to provide drugs such as the morning-after pill to employees through their health insurance.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma, seeks a permanent injunction against the government on behalf of Hobby Lobby and other companies that have religious convictions against abortion.
"These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith," said David Green, founder and chief executive officer of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc, in a call with reporters. "We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate."
Hobby Lobby is facing a Jan. 1 deadline to comply with the mandate. Should it refuse, it would face a penalty of $1.3 million per year, under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a lawyer representing the company said.
The company, which has 13,240 employees in 41 states, is based in Oklahoma City, where it began in 1972. It funds a variety of Christian charities, closes its stores on Sundays and plays inspirational Christian music in its stores.