HOBBY LOBBY: The Ethics of Healthcare between Corporation, Church and State
Friday, October 3, 2014, Doheny Memorial Library 241 | 12:30-1:30 PM | Lunch Provided
In September 2012, Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, filed a lawsuit against the United States over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which mandated that health insurance provided by employers must include access to emergency contraceptives. Hobby Lobby stated that this provision violated their religious beliefs, and argued that they were protected by the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Supreme Court eventually ruled in their favor. This panel will seek to discuss the various ethical issues associated with the intersection of religion and health care, and the implications of this ruling. Is it ethical for a corporation to determine the exact services included in government- mandated health insurance for religious reasons? Furthermore, did this PPACA provision prevent Hobby Lobby from freely exercising religion, for which the RFRA was initially enacted?
Moderator: Varun Awasthi, ZYGO Student Director
Varun Soni, Dean, USC Office of Religious Life
Hilary Schor, University Professor, English, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies and Law