This past Wednesday, July 8th, the supreme court ruled for the Catholic nonprofit aimed to serve impoverished elderly, Little Sisters of the Poor, to be exempt from providing their employees with insurance covering birth control under the Affordable Care Act.
This case, having been fought for the past seven years, has been a major battle won for religious freedom. The vast majority of the supreme court ruled in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor with a 7-2 vote. This is an important victory as it has now opened the door for the exemption of other religious organizations in providing coverage for birth control and other forms of contraception.
Along with this case being a tremendous victory for religious freedom in our nation, it is also a major pro-life victory! Here is why:
Contraception, namely hormonal birth control, is a form of contraception that also works as an abortifacient. While some religions may not be opposed to contraception that does not have the potential of killing a human being (condoms, vasectomies, and tubal ligation), abortifacient forms of contraception are largely contested by several religious groups.
For a detailed explanation of how hormonal birth control acts as an abortifacient, click here. However, in brief, hormonal contraception is able to alter the lining of a woman’s uterus making the uterus uninhabitable in the event that a baby be conceived. This is a back-up mechanism, as hormonal contraception is primarily supposed to prevent a woman from releasing a mature egg (ovum) that could be fertilized and begin its life as a human.
Due to the fact that hormonal contraception has the potential to end the life of a human during the earliest stage of development, several religions vehemently oppose this method. They cannot, in good conscience, offer insurance that covers potential abortions and it is cruel to make them go against their morals to provide contraception.
In fact, Sister Constance Veit told Shannon Bream of “Fox News @ Night”, “We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death. So, we’ve devoted our lives – by religious vows – to caring for the elderly. And, we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it’s unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life.”
This statement is one of great reverence for life, and the thought of making Little Sisters of the Poor go against their life’s mission is disheartening. It is a real blessing to have a supreme court who is able to recognize how it is unconstitutional to force these women of strong religious conviction to go against their morals.
The fact that Little Sisters of the Poor won their case and do not have to supply their employees with contraception could very well save lives! Further, other religious organizations, some of which have faced backlash due to their unwillingness to provide insurance for contraception, will be able to fight back and save more unborn lives. Even one life saved from abortion is an invaluable victory!