In a decision released Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor, deciding once again that the government cannot compel them to subsidize contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. This battle between the Little Sisters of the Poor and the HHS mandate to subsidize contraception has lasted nearly a decade, and many Catholic leaders have applauded the Supreme Court’s most recent decision.
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, released a statement addressing the case, pointing out that this is victory in a battle that should not have had to be fought.
“This is a saga that did not need to occur,” they said in the statement. “Contraception is not health care, and the government should never have mandated that employers provide it in the first place. Yet even after it had, there were multiple opportunities for government officials to do the right thing and exempt conscientious objectors. Time after time, administrators and attorneys refused to respect the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Catholic faith they exemplify, to operate in accordance with the truth about sex and the human person.”
“The Little Sisters of the Poor is an international congregation that is committed to building a culture of life. They care for the elderly poor. They uphold human dignity. They follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church. The government has no right to force a religious order to cooperate with evil. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision. We hope it brings a close to this episode of government discrimination against people of faith.”
Many Catholic individuals and organizations have been following this legal battle over the years, and applauded the Court in upholding religious freedom.
Thomas More Society represented a group of women scholars in supporting the Little Sisters of the Poor. Helen Alvaré, Thomas More Society Special Counsel, spoke on behalf of Women Scholars, a group of distinguished female academics from dozens of law schools, universities, and seminaries, stating:
“The Supreme Court’s decision goes a good distance toward vindicating our most cherished Constitutional rights. The mandate threatened religious liberty and endorsed a reductionist and harmful understanding of women’s freedom. The religious exemptions as defined by the current administration appropriately counter this.”
Read the full statement from the USCCB and tune-in to Relevant Radio® for continuing coverage and analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision.