Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi slammed a religious freedom rule as “despicable” last week for allowing a charitable group of Catholic nuns to be exempted from paying for contraception that may cause abortions in their employee health insurance plans.
Though Pelosi claims to be Catholic, she argued against the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who serve the elderly poor.
For six years, the Catholic nuns have been forced to fight in court to be exempted from an Obamacare contraception mandate. The mandate requires employers to pay for sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraception methods, including types that may end the life of a newly formed human being in its mother’s womb. The Catholic Church opposes abortion, sterilization and contraception.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Little Sisters’ case for a second time after pro-abortion Democrats took them back to court.
Recently, Pelosi joined an amicus brief arguing against the nuns’ case, Townhall reports. In the brief, she urges the Supreme Court to strike down a Trump administration rule that provides religious and moral exceptions to the contraception mandate.
“The Trump administration’s despicable rule allowing private employers and health plans to deny women coverage for contraception is an outrageous attack on women’s health, women’s pocketbooks and women’s independence,” Pelosi said in a statement last week.
The amicus brief that she signed also includes 148 other House members and 37 senators, according to the report. It claims the court must balance religious liberty with “compelling government interests.”
“The accommodation of sincerely held religious beliefs cannot be permitted to upend the careful, necessary balance between respect for religious freedom and the government’s interest in protecting public health and welfare and prohibiting discrimination against women,” the brief states.
The Obamacare mandate forces employers to provide every form of birth control, including types that may cause abortions, in their employee health plans. Many religious employers, like the Hobby Lobby craft store chain, do not oppose providing most forms of birth control, but they do oppose the types that may end an unborn baby’s life.
In May 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling against the Little Sisters of the Poor and granted them an exemption from the Obama HHS contraceptive mandate. Without it, the nuns would have been forced to pay millions of dollars in fines.
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In 2017, the Trump administration announced a new rule to protect religious non-profits, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, but several pro-abortion states, including Pennsylvania and California, immediately sued to remove the protection.
In Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro threatened the Little Sisters’ ministry by challenging their religious exemption and forcing the Little Sisters to continue to defend themselves in court. After a loss in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the order of Catholic nuns is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to end their six-year legal battle and let them focus on serving the elderly poor.
The Obama administration carved out exemptions in Obamacare for huge corporations like ExxonMobil and PepsiCo but not for religious individuals. Lawyers with the Becket Foundation, which represent the Little Sisters, pointed out that Shapiro did not challenge the exemptions for those big businesses.
“It has been six long years since we began our legal battle against government mandates that threaten our ministry,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire of the Little Sisters of the Poor. “We hope we have finally reached the end of this arduous process, that the Supreme Court will reaffirm their previous decision, and that we will soon be able to keep our focus on the elderly poor.”
Mark Rienzi, president of Becket, said it is time for the “nonsensical political battle” to stop.
“These states have not been able to identify a single person who would lose contraceptive coverage under the new HHS rule, but they won’t rest until Catholic nuns are forced to pay for contraceptives,” Rienzi said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to finally put this issue to rest.”
Like the Little Sisters, Pelosi also identifies as a devout Catholic. However, she constantly opposes Catholic Church teachings about the sanctity of human life and fights against religious freedom for the very faith that she claims to be a part of.
Pelosi has a radical pro-abortion voting record and close ties with the largest abortion chain in America, Planned Parenthood. She once described the legalization of late-term abortions as “sacred ground.”