Little Sisters Receive Short-term Shelter from HHS Mandate

Look to Supreme Court for long-term relief

Statement for Release: August 21, 2015
Media Contact: Melinda Skea, mskea@becketfund.org, 202-349-7224

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just this morning, the Tenth Circuit issued an order temporarily safeguarding the Little Sisters of the Poor and other ministries from being forced to violate their faith. The court’s order means that the protection that the Supreme Court granted the Little Sisters last year will remain in place until the Supreme Court rules on their case (see video).

The following statement can be attributed to Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the Little Sisters of the Poor:

The federal government doesn’t need the Little Sisters or any other ministry to help it distribute abortion-inducing drugs and other contraceptives. Yet it not only insists on forcing them to participate in the delivery, it argues that their beliefs against participating are wrong and that government officials and judges can tell the Little Sisters what Catholic theology really requires. That’s wrong, and it’s dangerous — especially when those same government officials have disrespectfully compared the Sisters’ beliefs to ‘fighting an invisible dragon’ that can be vanquished with the ‘stroke of the [Sisters’] own pen.’

The Little Sisters of the Poor, along with Reaching Souls International and several other ministries, have asked the Supreme Court to take their case and give them long-term relief from the government’s mandate. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on that petition, along with several others, this fall.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket Fund attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at mskea@becketfund.org or 202.349.7224.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. For over 20 years, it has defended clients of all faiths, includingBuddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians. Its recent cases include three major Supreme Court victories: the landmark ruling inBurwell v. Hobby Lobby, and the 9-0 rulings inHolt v. HobbsandHosanna-Tabor v. EEOC, the latter of which The Wall Street Journal called one of “the most important religious liberty cases in a half century.”

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