On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to take up an appeal from the Little Sisters of the Poor who are fighting for their religious liberty rights to bar coverage of possible abortion-inducing contraception in their healthcare plan.
When President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into law, the government issued a mandate which required organizations, including pro-life, religious organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor, to include possible abortion-inducing contraceptive drugs in their healthcare plan. After President Trump was elected, the new administration issued an executive order followed by new regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granting broad exemptions from the mandate.
As a result, several blue states sued the administration for providing the new religious exemptions. A federal judge in Pennsylvania blocked the exemption, and a three-judge panel on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling.
Now, the Supreme Court will take up the case hearing oral arguments in April, with a ruling expected before the end of the court’s term in June.
As The Hill notes, “This case will mark the third time the Supreme Court has heard a case regarding the mandate, a controversial provision of ObamaCare that has been fiercely opposed by conservatives and religious groups for years.”
Mother Loraine Marei Marguire from the Little Sisters issued a statement saying, “We are grateful the Supreme Court has decided to weigh in, and hopeful that the Justices will reinforce their previous decision and allow us to focus on our lifelong work of serving the elderly poor once and for all.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the nonprofit religious liberty law firm representing the Sisters issued a statement lauding the news. “In 2018, HHS announced a new rule protecting religious non-profits, including the Little Sisters. Yet several states, including Pennsylvania and California, immediately sued the federal government to take that protection away, forcing the Little Sisters back to court. After a loss in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Sisters now turn to the High Court to finally put an end to their long legal journey.”
The Daily Citizen has previously informed you on this case and will be watching it closely as it progresses.
The case is Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania
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