Washington D.C., Jan 17, 2020 / 16:00 pm
The Little Sisters of the Poor will have their case heard before the Supreme Court yet again in their years-long fight against the federal contraceptive mandate.
The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it would hear oral arguments in the case of the sisters against the State of Pennsylvania, which challenged the order’s exemption from the contraceptive mandate.
“It is disappointing to think that as we enter a new decade we must still defend our ministry in court,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire of the Little Sisters of the Poor, in a statement on Friday.
“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,” she said.
“We are hopeful that this trip to the Supreme Court will be their last,” said Montse Alvarado, vice president and executive director of Becket, which represents the sisters in court.
The Little Sisters of the Poor is an order of religious founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. Their mission is to care for the poor and the elderly in more than 30 countries.
Their case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, stems from a lawsuit by the State of Pennsylvania against the exemption granted to the Little Sisters of the Poor to the contraceptive mandate.
The sisters originally sued the federal government over the mandate that employers provide contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-causing drugs in health plans. The religious exemption that the Obama administration originally granted was so narrow that the sisters, and many other religious non-profits were not eligible.