The following comes from a July 14 LifeNews article by Steven Ertfelt:
In a surprising decision, a federal appeals court has determined that a Catholic religious order, the Little Sisters of the Poor, must comply with Obamacare’s abortion mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.
Without relief, the Little Sisters face millions of dollars in IRS fines because they cannot comply with the government’s mandate that they give their employees free access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.
Previously, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily protected the Little Sisters from the mandate. The Little Sisters then went before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to extend that protection, but the appeals court ruled against them. Today, the appeals court upheld that ruling.
Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor responded to the appeals court ruling in an email to LifeNews.com: “As Little Sisters of the Poor, we simply cannot choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith. And we should not have to make that choice, because it violates our nation’s commitment to ensuring that people from diverse faiths can freely follow God’s calling in their lives. For over 175 years, we have served the neediest in society with love and dignity. All we ask is to be able to continue our religious vocation free from government intrusion.”
Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and lead attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor told LifeNews he is disappointed by the ruling and promised to review a possible appeal to the Supreme Court.
“We’re disappointed with today’s decision. After losing repeatedly at the Supreme Court, the government continues its unrelenting pursuit of the Little Sisters of the Poor. It is a national embarrassment that the world’s most powerful government insists that, instead of providing contraceptives through its own existing exchanges and programs, it must crush the Little Sisters’ faith and force them to participate,” he said. “Untold millions of people have managed to get contraceptives without involving nuns, and there is no reason the government cannot run its programs without hijacking the Little Sisters and their health plan.”