Catholic Medical Association Welcomes SCOTUS Protection of The Little Sisters of the Poor
Philadelphia, PA- July 10, 2020—After numerous challenges to the rights of conscience of the Little Sisters of the Poor and others, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on July 8, 2020 on the side of religious liberty- confirming the constitutionality of HHS’ exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.
“The SCOTUS decision is a win not only for Little Sisters of the Poor but for Catholics and anyone else who respects life,” said CMA President, Dr. Michael Parker.
CMA has been a party to a number of amicus briefs and statements of public comment in support of the rights of conscience. On November 7, 2018, in response to the SCOTUS decision Zubik v. Burwell (for which CMA submitted an amicus brief), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its Final Rule protective of conscience under the “Contraceptive Mandate,” reversing the prior administration’s rulings.
The “Contraceptive Mandate” had required that virtually all employers who offer health insurance provide contraceptive coverage, including abortifacients to employees, even if this violated the employer’s deeply held religious beliefs.
Such coverage was termed “preventative” health care as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The 2018 HHS Final Rule provided religious and conscience protections, subsequently challenged by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
This Final Rule provided that persons and businesses with a religious or moral objection (in the case of a publicly traded business it must be a religious objection) are exempt from the mandate. Today SCOTUS determined that the Final Rule is constitutional. This decision is a significant win for the civil right to religious freedom and conscience protection.
“We are pleased and grateful for this ruling and pray our conscience and religious freedoms continue to be protected,” added Dr. Parker.