EAST EARL TWP., Pa. - A local, family-operated company argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, challenging the controversial birth control mandate part of Obamacare.
The Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation of East Earl, Lancaster Co., joined the Christian-run Hobby Lobby chain in presenting their case before justices, arguing that the requirement for employers to provide free contraception coverage to employees is a violation of their religious rights.
"The choice the government has forced on us is unfair and not keeping with the history of our great nation, founded on religious freedom," said Barbara Green, Hobby Lobby owner, during a news conference following the hearing.
Cecil Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, also addressed crowds.
"What's at stake in this case is whether millions of women and their right to preventive care including birth control is trumped by a handful of CEOs who have their own personal opinions about birth control," said Richards.
Before the hearing, protesters on both sides of the spectrum clashed outside of the Supreme Court. Reports indicate that the controversy was causing division among justices, as well.
A representative for Conestoga declined to comment as of Tuesday afternoon, but 69 News spoke with several people near the company headquarters on Reading Road, where opinions greatly varied.
"I'm in favor of what they're doing," said Madison Calhoun. "I'm Catholic and naturally my opinion is on their side."
"We all have different beliefs, but if you work for a company, I think their insurance should be responsible for your health care," said Tom Corbin.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in June.
Allentown, PA 18102