Contraception

01.24.14

SCOTUS Awards Nuns Victory In Birth Control Fight

The Court extended an injunction from earlier this month allowing the Little Sisters of the Poor to avoid self-certifying under Obamacare's contraception mandate.

Without dissent, the Supreme Court extended its injunction in the controversial case of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius on Friday.

In a one paragraph order, the Court allowed the Little Sisters of the Poor to continue to avoid "self-certifying" that they seek to be exempted from the contraception mandate under Obamacare. The organization has sought to avoid doing so because it believes that the self-certification process, which consists of sending a form to the Department of Health and Human Services stating that it wishes to be exempted, still violates its religious beliefs by forcing them into a certain level of compliance with the law.

Instead, the Court held that if a group informs HHS "in writing that they are non-profit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services"  the government can't enforce the mandate. The victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor is that they don't have to use the mandated form.

The order ended by noting that "The Court issues this order based on all of the circumstances of the case, and this order should not be construed as an expression of the Court’s view on the merits.” In other words, just because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor on this procedural motion, it doesn't mean it will take their side if it ever hears the case (which is currently pending in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals).