The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 28, 2012

Pastors protest Hobby Lobby about pill

OKLAHOMA CITY — Christian activists attempted Thursday to deliver a petition to Hobby Lobby criticizing its challenge to a portion of the new federal health care law, but guards at the company’s headquarters turned them away.

“I thought they’d let me drop off the package,” said the Rev. Lance Schmitz, pastor of the Capitol Hill Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma City.

Schmitz said more than 80,000 people had signed copies of a petition circulated nationwide by Faithful America, an online Christian group, and UltraViolet, which promotes women’s rights. Schmitz said he intends to mail the petition to the company.

Lawyers representing Hobby Lobby this month sued the federal government claiming it should not be forced to provide workers with health insurance that covers the morning-after and week-after pills. Some say the drug’s ability to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb is tantamount to abortion.

Hobby Lobby operates 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states. Its Christian owners allege in the lawsuit that providing coverage for certain medications violates their “deeply held religious beliefs.”

An attorney for the company, Kyle Duncan, said the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, respects the religious convictions of others.

“All they are asking is for the government to give them the same respect by not forcing them to violate their religious beliefs,” Duncan said.

But Schmitz and spokespersons for the Christian groups said the drugs are contraceptives and that women have a right to make their own medical decisions.

Michael Sharrard, spokesman for Faithful America, said a large part of his group’s efforts “is to try to counter extremists” and that it represents the “mainstream majority.”

“It’s a woman’s personal decision on what kind of birth control to use,” said Cat Barr, campaign director for UltraViolet. “Hobby Lobby is out of touch with mainstream Americans.”

The petitions accuse Hobby Lobby’s owners of using their Christian faith as an excuse to obstruct health care reform and deny women access to birth control.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. food pantries struggle to meet demand

    TULSA — Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from, among other groups, kids left in the lurch because they can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Rogers County clerk sues paper over stories

    CLAREMORE — The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy. Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against ...

    July 26, 2014