The Little Sisters of the Poor may once again have to pay for contraceptives and abortions in violation of their religious conscience due to another judicial activist federal judge’s ruling on Sunday.
Judge Haywood Gilliam (an Obama appointee) ruled Sunday against protections installed by the Trump administration that gave broader religious exemptions to employers under the Obamacare mandate, LifeNews reports. The ruling comes after several left-wing states filed suit in 2017 to overturn the rules put in place by the Trump administration, arguing that they violate women’s rights. Though the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor in 2016, subsequent lawsuits have pushed them back to court.
Despite Sunday’s ruling, the Trump administration’s protections will only be lifted in the District of Columbia and 13 states, not states nation-wide. Abortion activists celebrated the ruling.
“Newsflash: Birth control is health care – no matter what the Trump-Pence administration thinks or whether your boss agrees with it,” Planned Parenthood tweeted Sunday.
“This is why elections matter. Thank you @pweiser for fighting for women and our ability to plan our own families,” tweeted NARAL President Ilyse Hogue, referring to the Colorado AG’s promise to uphold the judge’s ruling.
California Attorney General Xavier Beccera said the ruling will help put an end to the Trump administration’s latest attempt to “trample” women’s rights.
“The law couldn’t be more clear — employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions,” Becerra said in a statement Sunday evening. “Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.”
The Trump administration simultaneously lamented the decision as a setback against religious liberty.
“No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our health care system,” said Caitlin Oakley, spokeswoman for Health and Human Services. “The final rules affirm the Trump Administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”
Opponents of the Trump administration’s protections say that birth control access is being stripped away from women. They neglect, ignore, or simply lie about the fact that women who want birth control will still be able to get it, given that the United States provides it in virtually every drug store available. Contrary to the feminist outrage, the protections simply allow businesses and religious organizations to forgo paying for drugs that violate their religious conscience.
Mark Rienzi, senior counsel at Becket and lead attorney for the Little Sisters, told LifeNews that the lawsuit has everything to do with attacking religious organizations, not protecting women.
“Sadly Josh Shapiro and [California Attorney General] Xavier Becerra think attacking nuns is a way to score political points,” said Rienzi. “These men may think their campaign donors want them to sue nuns, but our guess is most taxpayers disagree. No one needs nuns in order to get contraceptives, and no one needs these guys reigniting the last administration’s divisive and unnecessary culture war.”