U.S. Supreme Court Hears Nuns In Contraceptives Case
By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether nuns could be forced to facilitate abortion-causing drugs and other contraceptives such as sterilizations. Its first liberty case began Wednesday involving the Little Sisters of the Poor organization, which has been supporting the poor and dying since 1839.
Their case stems from a lawsuit by the U.S. State of Pennsylvania against the exemption granted to the Little Sisters of the Poor to a contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare.’
The sisters received the exemption after suing the federal government over the obligation that employers provide contraceptives in health plans. But states such as Pennsylvania insist that the federal government should make the group of nuns abide by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.
Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing of the case ‘Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania’ happened by phone due to the coronavirus outbreak. The critical religious liberty case was attended by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from her hospital bed.
Justice Ginsburg suggested that the Little Sisters of the Poor should not be exempted from providing abortion-causing contraceptives to female employees on their healthcare plan. She told U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco: “You have just tossed entirely to the wind what Congress thought was essential. That is that women be provided these services with no hassle, no cost to them.”
But the Little Sisters’ attorney Paul Clement argued the nuns would not back down. He expressed concern that they could face reported fines of between $60 and $70 million annually for not complying. Clement warned that “When the government imposes a burden on religion by telling the Little Sisters that they have to comply with the mandate or else when the ‘or else’ is massive penalties, that plainly provides a substantial burden on religious exercise.”
After the Supreme Court hearing, a Mother Superior, Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, said, “We could not comply with the mandate. To do so would undermine our most important belief. That all life is valuable. We cannot hold the hands of the elderly dying while at the same time facilitating the ending of unborn life.”
A court decision was expected in late June this year.
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