Mardel and sister company Hobby Lobby face another bump in their legal battle. Federal lawyers have indicated their intent to challenge the temporary Obamacare exemption granted in July. Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services filed a federal court notice Tuesday in opposition to the exemption.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton granted Hobby Lobby and Mardel a temporary exemption from a requirement in the health care law that mandates employers provide insurance coverage for morning-after pills and other emergency birth control methods. The court order allows the companies to avoid hefty fines while they continue their legal challenge on religious freedom grounds.
The Green family, Christian owners of Mardel and Hobby Lobby, believe that life begins at conception and that certain birth control methods are tantamount to abortion. The companies’ current insurance plans do offer 16 other forms of birth control.
If the exemption is removed, the companies could be forced to choose between betraying their beliefs and complying with the full range of government-mandated contraceptive options or facing fines of $1.3 million a day.