Ron Paul: Hobby Lobby case transcends abortion debate
The Hobby Lobby lawsuit pending at the Supreme Court isn’t about abortion or contraception, says former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), it’s about rights.
Obamacare supporters paint this as a case of Hobby Lobby refusing its employees an abortion or contraception, which, they say, is a violation of the employees rights. But that’s not at all what Hobby Lobby has in mind, they simply don’t want to be forced to pay for those things for their employees.
“Forcing Hobby Lobby to pay for abortion services is especially offensive because Hobby Lobby’s owners consider abortion a form of murder. Those who, like me, agree that abortion is an act of violence against an innocent person, will side with Hobby Lobby,” wrote Paul in his weekly column.
“However, this case is not about the legality of abortion. It is about whether someone can have a ‘right’ to force someone else to provide him with a good or service,” he explained. “Therefore, even those who support legal abortion should at least support a business’s right to choose to not subsidize it.”
Hobby Lobby Stores, a craft chain with 578 stores and more than 13,000 employees, filed the lawsuit against the contraception mandate in September 2012, claiming that it violated the religious liberty of the owner and founder of the company, David Green, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).
Green runs the business on religious principles and is committed to “[h]onoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles,” according to the company’s website. The contraceptive mandate would include coverage for the morning after pill, Plan B and Ella, which Green believes is tantamount to abortion. Hobby Lobby claims that it could face fines of $475 million each year for non-compliance.
“If Hobby Lobby loses, the US Supreme Court will have endorsed the idea that the federal government can force individuals to violate their most sacred religious principles to satisfy any government demands,” wrote Paul. The central question of the Hobby Lobby case, then, is whether religious liberty will continue to be meaningful in this country.”
“For what good is a religious liberty that protects your rights to attend a worship service, but allows the government to force you to live in opposition to the values preached at those services? This is why all supporters of liberty and limited government—regardless of their views on the morality of contraception—should be on the side of Hobby Lobby,” he added.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in November, and it will likely prove to be one of the most interesting and a critical turning point in the implementation of Obamacare.