Hobby Lobby Win Injunction Against Birth Control Mandate
After receiving a temporary injunction from US District Judge Joe Heaton last week, Hobby Lobby will now be exempted from the Affordable Care Act stipulation that requires employer-based insurance plans to cover various birth control methods at no extra cost to employees until October 1, 2013.
In September of last year, the evangelical-owned Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the mandate requiring employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill and other contraceptives. Under the new mandate, companies who do not provide coverage for contraception can face fines of up to $1.3 million daily.
In June, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, saying that the company had the right to uphold its religious beliefs and deny contraceptive coverage. The federal government has until October 1, 2013 to file an appeal with the US Supreme Court.
The company's conservative owners, the Green family, object to specific forms of birth control like emergency contraceptives and intrauterine devices based on their belief that life begins at conception. The company covers 16 forms of birth control through the employee insurance plan. Although emergency contraceptives have been specifically included in the ACA's list of covered prescriptions, the company's CEO maintained that "To offer prescriptions that take life is not an option for us."
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc et al v. Sebelius et al, U.S. District Court is one of 63 lawsuits around the nation that have been filed against the ACA's mandate of comprehensive birth control coverage.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .