BREAKING: Little Sister gives landmark statement following Supreme Court hearing

Full press statement will be updated here shortly. Watch the video here.

For Immediate Release:  March 23, 2016
Media Contact:  Melinda Skea, media@becketfund.org, 202-349-7224

Mother Loraine gives a statement outside the Supreme Court. Photo Credit: The Becket Fund.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a 175-year-old religious order of women who care for the elderly poor. The Little Sisters have asked the Supreme Court for protection from a government mandate that is forcing them to provide services against their beliefs.

The following statement can be attributed to Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor:

“Hello, my name is Sister Loraine Marie Clare. The Lord has given me a beautiful calling; that of being a Little Sister of the Poor.

We Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of women who make religious vows to God. We dedicate ourselves to serving the elderly poor regardless of race or religion, offering them a home where they are welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to Himself.  We have done this for more than 175 years.

But now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters.

We don’t understand why the government is doing this when there is an easy solution that doesn’t involve us—it can provide these services on the exchanges.  It’s also hard to understand why the government is doing this when 1/3 of all Americans aren’t even covered by this mandate, and large corporations like Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi are fully exempt, yet the government threatens us with fines of 70 million dollars per year if we don’t comply.

It is a privilege for us to care for the most vulnerable members of our society; serving them, comforting them, being a loving and healing presence in their lives; just being a “Little Sister to them” is our joy.  All we ask, is that we can continue to do this work.

After hearing the argument today, we are hopeful for a positive outcome.  We will continue to trust God because–as our Mother Foundress St. Jeanne Jugan said: “God will help us, the work is His”.

Thank you and God bless.”

For more information about the case, visit www.thelittlesistersofthepoor.com.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket Fund attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at media@becketfund.org or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Additional Information:

  • Video: Meet the Little Sisters of the Poor (one-minute vignettes on the lives of the Little Sisters)
  • New Resource: The Little Sisters of the Poor Website
  • Photos and Video for media use(Credit: Becket Fund)
  • Media Kit for the Little Sisters of the Poor (all legal docs, press releases, background, images)

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The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court.For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians(read more here).