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Jul 1, 2014 8:06 AM by Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS

Religious Freedom Wins Supreme Court Fight

CORPUS CHRISTI - The court handed a major victory to Hobby Lobby, ruling that it can refuse on religious grounds to pay for contraceptives.

The family that owns the Hobby Lobby chain claimed that providing insurance coverage for some forms of contraceptives, would be the equivalent of paying for abortion, violating the company's religious beliefs.

"Any time the Supreme Court can acknowledge the rights of religious freedom," said First Baptist Church Pastor Steve Heartwick. "That's always good, so in that way it was very positive."

The court said a profit-making company can have legally protected religious freedom, ruling that people don't give up those rights when they go into business.

"We are truly thankful for the decision," said Hobby Lobby Founder David Green. "That allowed us to continue operating our family business, according to our family principles."

However, not everyone is thrilled about the decision.

"I don't doubt that their beliefs are sincerely held," said resident Amanda Stephens. "That they're not medically or scientificially accurate is an issue with me."

Those that oppose the ruling said it forces women to jump through hoops to get the health coverage they need.

"People are getting pushed pretty far," said Move to Amend advocate James Klein. "I think it's just a matter of time before things go off the rails, and once they do it's going to be pretty tough to get them back on."

Both sides agree that it's too soon to know how much impact the decision will have.

"Since the ruling has just been made, there's gonna be at least a 100 different pundits that will spin it 100 different ways," said Heartwick. "So, the real implication has yet to be seen."

This is the first time the court has ruled that 'for-profit entities," meaning corporations like Hobby Lobby, can have religious beliefs like an individual.


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