WATCH: Tough Questions on Religious Freedom, Abortion Drugs
Ken McIntyre /
Two cases before the Supreme Court are not about limiting a woman’s freedom to buy birth control, as they have been widely mischaracterized, but about challenging the government’s power to force Americans to violate their religious beliefs, a Heritage Foundation analyst said in an interview with The Foundry.
Sarah Torre, a policy analyst in Heritage’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two businesses owned by religious families, see themselves as fighting for a fundamental freedom in the cases to be argued Tuesday.
The families contend that an Obamacare mandate by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) compels them to pay hefty per-employee fines or violate their faith by providing abortion-inducing drugs and devices in employee health plans, Torre said in the on-camera interview with Genevieve Wood, senior contributor to The Foundry.
An ominous threat to the cherished American concept of religious liberty, not the easy availability of affordable contraception, is why the HHS mandate has come before the Supreme Court, Torre told Wood:
The Obama administration has made one thing very clear: that your faith is a private affair. You can follow your beliefs, exercise your faith in your home your house of worship, but step outside those four walls to build a business, to run a charity, and your religious freedom ends. We know that that’s not in line with the Constitution or federal laws protecting religious freedom. Every American, whether or not they’re at home or out in the workplace, should be able to live according to their deeply held convictions.
Hobby Lobby is an Oklahoma-based chain of arts and crafts stores owned by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. Conestoga Wood Specialties is a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of custom wood cabinets owned by the Hahn family, who are Mennonite Christians.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. The video was co-produced by Steve Weyrich and Amy Payne. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.