Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Little Sisters of the Poor appeal to the Supreme Court, again

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Christine Rousselle
10/10/2019 (3 days ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court affirm the religious exemption protecting them from having to comply with the HHS Contraceptive Mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Little Sisters of the Poor

Little Sisters of the Poor

Highlights

By Christine Rousselle
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/10/2019 (3 days ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, WASHINGTON D.C., US


Washington D.C., (CNA) - The Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court affirm the religious exemption protecting them from having to comply with the HHS Contraceptive Mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

The renewed petition comes after several states, including Pennsylvania and California, sued the Little Sisters of the Poor in response to an exemption granted to them in 2017 after their last appearance before the Supreme Court.

"The states are arguing that even though there's injunctions in the mandate in the Little Sisters' case in this country, it violated the law for the federal government to issue a religious exemption," Diana Verm, senior counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNA. Becket is providing legal counsel for the Little Sisters of the Poor. 

"The Little Sisters just want to go back to serving the elderly poor," said Verm. "If the Supreme Court rules in their favor, they'll be able to do so." 

The Little Sisters of the Poor are a Catholic religious order dedicated to the care of the elderly poor in addition to their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. 

When the HHS Contraceptive Mandate was announced in 2011, the Sisters were told that they would not be grandfathered in and would have to provide contraception to there employees through their insurance plan, in violation of their religious faith. Despite being a religious order, the Little Sisters of the Poor did not qualify as a religious employer as they serve and employ people of all faiths. 

In 2013, the order first filed suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that the mandate was a violation of their religious freedom. They were granted an emergency injunction at the end of that year that prevented them from having to pay thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with the mandate. 

Three years later, the Supreme Court sided with the Little Sisters, and ordered the government to come up with a solution that would appease all sides. In 2017, this solution came in the form of a new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that exempted religious non-profits from the mandate. 

Verm noted that throughout the six-year legal process, not a single person has been presented as being unable to obtain contraception due to working for a religious employer under the exemption. In its own suit against the Sisters, Pennsylvania has admitted that there are many other ways for a woman to get contraception aside from their employer. 

Presently, an injunction granted by a Colorado court protects the religious order from the mandate, and preserves the exemption for religious-based nonprofits. 

If the Little Sisters of the Poor do not win this court case, Verm said, they would have to pay thousands of dollars in fines to the government. 

"That would be crippling," she said. 

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Tax churches that oppose gay marriage, Democratic candidate says Watch

Image of

A Democratic candidate for president has said religious institutions should be stripped of their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex ... continue reading


Legal group warns about sex-selective abortion on Day of the Girl Child Watch

Image of Indian girl

On the International Day of the Girl Child, a legal advocacy group in India is drawing attention to the problem of sex-selective abortion ... continue reading



Brooklyn's Bishop DiMarzio begins visitation of scandal-hit Buffalo diocese Watch

Image of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn has begun his apostolic visitation of the scandal-hit Diocese of Buffalo. Buffalo, N.Y., (CNA) - ... continue reading


Little Sisters of the Poor appeal to the Supreme Court, again Watch

Image of Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court affirm the religious exemption protecting them from ... continue reading


Pope accepts resignation of NY auxiliary under investigation for abuse Watch

Image of Bishop John Jenik

Pope Francis accepted Thursday the resignation of Bishop John Jenik as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and appointed two ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.