Oklahoma AG backs Hobby Lobby in contraception lawsuit

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“Any regulation that requires an employer to violate their lawful religious beliefs and practices goes directly against the ideals that our Founding Fathers set in place to protect Americans from an overbearing and intrusive government,” Pruitt said in a statement.

The administration's policy requires most employers to cover birth control in their employees' healthcare plans without charging a copay or deductible. Religiously affiliated employers are either exempt or able to pass off the coverage to their insurance companies.

But Hobby Lobby says employers should be able to opt out of the mandate based on their own ethical or religious beliefs, even if their business doesn't have anything to do with religion.

The Obama administration has rebuffed that call, but employers are pushing back in the courts.

“The actions of the [federal government] substantially burden the undisputed, sincere, and deeply held religious faith of these citizens of Oklahoma who are otherwise fully protected by the Constitution and laws of the State of Oklahoma, and forcibly require them to personally undertake actions that are contrary to the undisputed, sincere, and deeply held religious faith of these citizens,” Oklahoma's court filing states. 

A federal judge recently denied Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction preventing the company from complying with the mandate while its lawsuit works its way through the courts.