Does Obama have any idea how bad this looks? Polls already show that most Americans oppose the HHS contraception mandate.
Moves like this one – trying to force The Little Sisters of the Poor (!) to comply with a policy that runs counter the Catholic church’s pro-life teachings – will only increase opposition to the unjust and unholy mandate.
Via Life News:
The Obama administration has filed legal papers appealing a decision by the Supreme Court to protect a group of Catholic nuns from being forced to obey the controversial birth control mandate.
As LifeNews reported this week, in a huge 11th-hour victory for pro-life advocates, the Supreme Court issued an order late Tuesday night stopping the Obama administration from forcing a group of Catholic nuns to obey the HHS mandate that compels them to pay for abortion-causing drugs and birth control.
The group Little Sisters of the Poor received a temporary injunction from the Supreme Court protecting them from the controversial HHS contraceptive mandate. The injunction means that the Little Sisters will not be forced to sign and deliver forms authorizing and directing others to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and drugs and devices that cause abortions.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave the federal government until 10 a.m. EST Friday to file a brief in response to the Little Sisters’ application.
Just before the Friday morning deadline, the administration filed papers asking the Supreme Court not to exempt Catholic groups from the HHS mandate, arguing that, “applicants have no legal basis to challenge the self-certification requirement or to complain that it involves them in the process of providing contraceptive coverage.”
A lawyer with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, hammered the administration for its attack on the religious freedom of the nuns.
Via Fox News:
“The government demands that the Little Sisters of the Poor sign a permission slip for abortion drugs and contraceptives, or pay of millions in fines. The Sisters believe that doing that violates their faith, and that they shouldn’t be forced to divert funds from the poor elderly and dying people they’ve devoted their lives to serve,” senior counsel Mark Rienzi said in a statement.
The Obama administration released its final rule on the mandate on June 28, 2013.
The final rule maintains the definition of “religious employer” proposed in February, which allows a full exemption from the mandate for those employers that fall under Internal Revenue Code, Section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii), which “refers to churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches, as well as to the exclusively religious activities of any religious order.”
It would seem to me that the Little Sisters of the Poor falls under that definition, but it looks like the Obama administration is hellbent on forcing Catholic nuns to violate their religious beliefs, anyway.