Several organisations praised the US Supreme Court decision that upheld Trump administration regulations giving employers more ability to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage in their health plans.
Groups as diverse as Students for Life of America and the Heritage Foundation hailed the 8th July decision as a victory for the free exercise of religion and the protection of conscience rights in regard to moral decision-making. Religious organisations said the ruling will allow them to better focus on carrying out their mission.
The case examined if the expansion of the conscience exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate violated the health care law and laws governing federal administrative agencies. It combined two cases – Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v Pennsylvania and Trump v Pennsylvania.
At National Right to Life, president Carol Tobias praised the court for upholding the “right to the free exercise of our beliefs.”
“One of our most fundamental rights is…that these beliefs are not trampled by government overreach,” she said. “We are please that the US Supreme Court recognised the importance of protecting conscience rights.”
She also charged that organisations supporting abortion were handed a defeat by the court.
“Pro-abortion groups have proven time and time again that their goal is abortion on demand at anytime, anywhere, and nothing should stand in the way, including the conscience rights of Americans,” Tobias said.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, echoed Tobias, saying the decision reflects “the commonsense understanding that the nuns of the Little Sisters of the Poor should not be forced to act against their deeply held beliefs.”
“Birth control,” she added, “is widely available for purchase in the United States, but forcing people of faith to pay for it has always been a misuse of government power.”
Picture: In this 2016 file photo, Sr Loraine Marie Maguire, mother provincial of the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor, speaks to the media outside the US Supreme Court in Washington. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters).