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Friday, March 4, 2016

March 4, 2016: Del Rio News-Heradl * OPINION * Letters to the Editor * Supporting Little Sisters of the Poor






















Letter to the Editor,

Supporting Little Sisters of the Poor

Hundreds of individuals and various groups have filed an “amicus curiae” a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of the Little Sisters, including 207 members of Congress, five of them Democrats; 20 States, National Association of Evangelicals, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Anglican Chaplains, Jewish Organizations, Members of the Apache Tribe, Concerned Women for America and others.

The Supreme Court will decide whether the government can force the Little Sisters to cooperate with a federal mandate issued under the Affordable Care Act that requires health care plans to cover abortion-inducing drugs and devices, contraceptives and sterilization.

Among those signing the brief were both Republican Senators from Texas, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz along with Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio.

Among the 20 States, Texas was represented by Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas.

Republican Representative Diane Black from Tennessee who led the congressional effort to support the Little Sisters stated, “We should be praising their work, not punishing it. The law sets up an impossible choice for these organizations: deny their deeply held beliefs and provide coverage for drugs they deem to be morally objectionable, or face crippling financial penalties from the federal government.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin signed the brief; Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, the congregation’s Mother Provincial, and Sister Constance Veit, their Communications Director sat in the Speaker’s Box at the President’s final State of the Union address.

A diverse group of faith leaders released statements of support. Dr. Ossama Bahloul, Imam of The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro stated, “The test of America’s commitment to religious diversity and freedom comes when we show we’ll defend minorities and those with whom we do not fully agree.”

Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin stated, “We have great admiration for the Little Sisters who are standing up not just for themselves and the elderly poor they serve but for the rights of all people of faith, including Jews. Their courage is an example to all of us.”

Sister Maguire said, "We are overjoyed and deeply grateful for the diverse outpouring of support we have received from such a variety of people and groups."

“I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises” – Thomas Jefferson

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.