‘We never wanted this fight, and we regret that after a long legal battle it is still not over. We pray that we can once again devote our lives to our ministry…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) After the Trump administration granted protection to religious employers who wanted to opt out of providing abortive healthcare options, pro-choice leftists forced a group of Catholic nuns into court once again in an attempt to overrule the exemption.
The Little Sisters of the Poor were one of several religious groups who fought Obamacare’s mandate that forced pro-life groups to violate their religious convictions and cover abortive services in their employee healthcare packages.
The Trump administration agreed that the mandate was an abuse of power and granted an exception to religious groups after the U.S. Supreme Court heard their case in 2016.
But the attorneys general of California and Pennsylvania are trying to fight the exemption and filed suit against the federal government to block it.
The judge heard oral arguments on Thursday and said she would make a decision by Monday, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“The Little Sisters are looking forward to a final victory in this case, so they can put this whole lawsuit behind them. It’s been a long fight,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
The Becket Fund is representing the Little Sisters in these cases.
Windham said the judge had tough questions for the states, despite previously issuing an injunction blocking the Trump administration’s exemption.
“She asked Pennsylvania why it was wrong for the Trump Administration to issue this rule protecting the Little Sisters and others but wasn’t wrong for the Obama Administration to issue a series of rules to create the mandate in the first place,” Windham said.
The Little Sisters have spent the past five years in court and said they hope to see the case come to the right conclusion.
“We never wanted this fight, and we regret that after a long legal battle it is still not over. We pray that we can once again devote our lives to our ministry of serving the elderly poor as we have for over 175 years without being forced to violate our faith,” Mother Loraine Marie Maguire said in a statement.