January 11, 2013 — Hobby Lobby will shift the start of its health insurance plan year by several months to delay having to comply with the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the company's attorney announced on Thursday, the AP/Miami Herald reports. Under its previous plan year, the company was supposed to start complying with the rules on Jan. 1 (AP/Miami Herald, 1/10).
The company's conservative Christian owners object to the contraceptive coverage rules because they believe emergency contraception is the equivalent of an abortion.
After the Supreme Court denied the company's request for an emergency injunction to block enforcement of the rules, attorneys for Hobby Lobby and its sister company, Mardel, announced that the businesses would defy the rules by refusing to provide coverage for EC. The companies were set to face fines of up to $1.3 million per day as of Jan. 1 for not complying (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/3).
A company representative declined to specify when the employer's new plan year will begin (Bailey, The Oklahoman, 1/10).
Va. AG Cuccinelli Suggests Contraception Opponents 'Go To Jail'
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) during an interview with a conservative radio host on Wednesday said opponents of the contraceptive coverage rules should be willing to fight the requirement by going "to jail," the AP/Washington Post reports (AP/Washington Post, 1/10).
Cuccinelli -- who is Catholic and supports Hobby Lobby's lawsuit -- said, "Abraham Lincoln has many good quotes, but one of them is 'the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously,'" adding that enforcement of the contraceptive requirements will be "an example of what tyranny means."
Cuccinelli recalled an exchange with his local bishop, who said he was willing to go to jail over the rules. "I said, 'Bishop, don't take this personally: You need to go to jail,'" Cuccinelli said. He continued, "What I mean by that is, people need to see it play out all the way to its logical conclusion" (Burns, Politico, 1/10).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership