Federal appeals court denies Hobby Lobby preliminary abortion-drug injunction via HHS mandate

So despite the fact that Hobby Lobby would be forced to pay for abortifacients, the 10th circuit says that pay for this doesn’t “substantially burden religious exercise”. Yeah, right:

THE HILL – A federal appeals court denied Hobby Lobby’s request for a preliminary injunction against President Obama’s birth control coverage rules.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Christian-run arts-and-crafts chain must comply with the policy as its case proceeds.

The decision is the latest setback in Hobby Lobby’s case against the Obama administration.

At issue is the requirement that most employers to cover a full range of birth control methods in their health plans without cost-sharing.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled last month that Hobby Lobby must comply in spite of its belief that the “morning-after pill” induces abortion.

On Thursday, the appeals court agreed that the mandate did not appear to substantially burden religious exercise in the case.

The panel quoted a portion of Heaton’s opinion to deny Hobby Lobby’s motion for an injunction.

“The particular burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by healthcare providers and patients covered by [the corporate] plan, subsidize someone else’s participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiff[s’] religion. Such an indirect and attenuated relationship appears unlikely to establish the necessary ‘substantial burden,'” Heaton wrote.

The appeals court has yet to rule on the merits of the case.

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