The Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of pro-life nuns who were embroiled in a legal battle for years with the Obama administration, are headed back to court to defend their group against lawsuits from Democrat-run states Pennsylvania and California. Despite winning relief from Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate from President Trump, who signed an executive order exempting them and similar objectors from bring forced to provide contraceptive coverage, the Little Sisters are being sued by the states who believe they should be compelled to do so.
When Obama regulated the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it included a provision that forced most employers to provide their workers with health insurance plans covering contraceptives and abortifacient drugs, regardless of the employer’s moral or religious beliefs. This provision was seen as proof of the Obama administration’s war on religious freedom and the steady creep of government into the realm protected by the First Amendment. The Hobby Lobby lawsuit did its part in protecting certain closely-held corporations from being held to this mandate, but it did not exempt others – including Catholic organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor. It was not until Trump took office and adjusted the regulations that these organizations were set free of the mandate.
But clearly, it’s not over yet. Despite Trump’s regulatory overhaul, Pennsylvania and California want to see the Little Sisters held to the Obamacare mandate.
In an interview with LifeSite News, Maureen Ferguson of the Catholic Association said the lawsuits were vicious and without merit.
“It is utterly incomprehensible that in a free country like the United States, Catholic nuns who care for the elderly poor are being harassed with new lawsuits to force them to provide contraceptives and abortifacients,” said Ferguson. “The Little Sisters of the Poor finally received relief from the federal government’s executive order on religious liberty, yet now the politically motivated state attorneys general of Pennsylvania and California are on the attack.”
What this demonstrates, above all, is the need for the GOP-led Congress to either repeal or significantly fix Obamacare in accordance with their campaign promises. Trump’s attempts to regulate the law down to size have been admirable, but it’s not enough. Liberal attorneys general from all blue states are looking to challenge this administration on every single point of law, real or imagined. And even if they aren’t successful, all it takes is the election of a Democratic president to undo all the good Trump has done from the Oval Office.