(Photo Credit: Laura Allen/Unsplashed)
On July 8, 2020, the Supreme Court upheld religious freedom for the faithful. In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Little Sisters of the Poor made a third trip to the nation’s highest court to oppose the requirement to provide coverage for contraception for themselves and their employees. Because of the ruling, religious communities will no longer be mandated to provide contraceptives within their communities and can freely serve the people of God according to their charisms. The most important part of this case is protection of religious freedom. The court’s decision in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania affirms the primacy of religious freedom and removes the Affordable Care Act mandate for organizations and employers to provide artificial contraception.
Justice Thomas wrote, “For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother . . . But for the past seven years, they—like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision— have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
This new ruling protects all orders, including the Sisters of Life.
Each human person is created in the image and likeness of God with inherent dignity, value, and worth. Abortion is the intentional termination of an innocent human life. There is no situation in which abortion is morally permissible. Referring to the “Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching” fact sheet from United Statest Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church’s opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person.”
The Catholic Church teaches that artificial contraception is immoral for multiple reasons related to natural law. Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical, Humanae Vitae, about why it is wrong, and made prophetic predictions that all became true about what would happen if contraception was accepted.
This case ensures more protection of our religious freedom in three ways:
“HHS Mandate cases: Winning the HHS mandate cases sets an important precedent, confirming that federal agencies cannot unnecessarily force religious people to violate their beliefs in order to further a government goal.
Religious communities: Religious communities have the right to organize and operate according to their beliefs without the government discriminating among sincere religious.
Individual freedom: Religious individuals and organizations are free to follow their faith in all aspects of their lives, including in the workplace and not just in houses of worship.”
Here is a little more information about the Sisters of the Poor and what they do:
To learn more about the Little Sisters of the Poor, view their website here.