Little Sisters of the Poor is not the only organization still fighting for its conscience rights to object to, and be exempt from, an Obamacare regulation forcing it to provide its employees with possible abortion-causing drugs and devices.
Another nonprofit organization, March for Life Education and Defense Fund (March for Life), has just asked the U.S. Supreme Court to protect its moral right to a conscience exemption from the same law.
The seemingly never-ending litigation involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation, or HHS mandate as it was known throughout early litigation beginning around 2012 in cases such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, continues on. These days, however, the issues and players have flipped.
In 2014, when Hobby Lobby was decided, the litigants primarily involved the Obama-era HHS, which issued the HHS mandate, and the secular and faith-based organizations and individuals who objected to being forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihoods and ministries.
These days, there’s a different administration in power in the nation’s capital. Under President Donald Trump, HHS revised its mandate to beef up conscience protections. There was little time to celebrate, however, as anti-religious, pro-abortion blue states immediately challenged HHS and its new exemptions in liberal courts and obtained nationwide injunctions prohibiting the revised exemptions from taking effect.
Organizations such as Little Sisters of the Poor and March for Life were allowed to join the lawsuits to protect their interests. That’s why those organizations are the ones bringing appeals to the Supreme Court.
March for Life is represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). In a press statement posted on ADF’s website, Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch said, “The government shouldn’t be forcing anyone to violate their conscience by providing drugs and devices that can destroy life. We are asking the Supreme Court to affirm the HHS protections, which ensure that pro-life organizations like March for Life and Little Sisters of the Poor can pursue their missions consistent with their beliefs.”
Little Sisters of the Poor is already at the Supreme Court. Two cases involving the nuns’ ministry and the revised HHS exemptions were accepted for review by the high court in January. March for Life not only asks for the same relief to be granted to it as the nuns receive (if they win), but it also asks the justices to look at a specific legal issue that it thinks precludes those blue states from suing HHS in the first place.
Photo from March for Life