Organic food company Eden Foods doesn’t want to provide contraceptive coverage for its 150 employees. Via Grist.org:
In Eden Foods Inc. v. Kathleen Sebelius, filed in federal court in March of 2013, the company claimed its religious freedom was being violated by the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employee health insurance cover birth control. The suit argued that “contraception or abortifacients … almost always involve immoral and unnatural practices.” In October, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided against Eden Foods, ruling that a for-profit company cannot exercise religion.
But then, on June 30, the Supreme Court ruled in the Hobby Lobby case that family-owned, “closely held” companies can use religion as an excuse to flout the birth control mandate. Eden Foods is one of a few dozen “closely held” for-profit companies that have filed suit over the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. On July 1, the Supreme Court ordered the 6th Circuit Court to reconsider its decision against Eden Foods and another plaintiff with a similar case.
The company’s attorneys at Thomas More Law Center released a statement about the case on Wednesday following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling:
For years, Michael Potter, a Roman Catholic, President and sole shareholder of Eden Foods Corporation, for religious reasons, had arranged for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance coverage he designed for his employees to specifically exclude coverage for contraception and abortifacients. In accordance with his Catholic faith, Potter believes that any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation, whether as an end or means”—including abortifacients and contraception—is wrong.
The HHS Mandate forced Potter to make a choice between violating a foremost tenet of his faith or face fines up to $4.5 million per year.
Potter brought the lawsuit because he cannot compartmentalize his faith and his business practices.
Eden Foods itself tweeted a link to this statement:
Clinton, Michigan – Eden Foods is a principled food company. We were convinced that actions of the federal government were illegal, and so filed a formal objection. The recent Supreme Court decision confirms, at least in part, that we were correct. We realized in making our objection that it would give rise to grotesque mischaracterizations and fallacious arguments. We did not fully anticipate the degree of maliciousness and corruption that would visit us. Nevertheless, we believe we did what we should have.
The objection we filed has never been part of the Hobby Lobby lawsuit.
Naturally, the Sandra Fluke brigade says it will no longer buy Eden Foods’ products:
Regardless of one’s views about the morality of contraception, why shouldn’t a company be allowed to configure its health benefits however it wishes? Perhaps it is time for a conservative “buycott”!