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Hobby Lobby request to block health law denied

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OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court has denied Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby’s request to block a portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that requires the company provide insurance coverage for emergency contraception pills.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the arts-and-crafts company’s request for an injunction while the company appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit says the mandate violates the religious beliefs of its Christian founder and CEO David Green and his family.

The Greens say requiring insurance coverage for the birth-control pills known as the “morning-after” and “week-after” pills forces them to either violate their religious beliefs or face hefty fines.

The company says on its website that it tries to operate in accord with biblical principles. All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sundays.

“We believe that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” the company says in its statement of purpose. “He has been faithful in the past, and we trust Him for our future.”

The federal appeals court ruling upheld a district court that found the religious burden to the Green family is indirect.