Having nun of it: Little Sisters of the Poor launch website, comic to fight ACA provision
The Little Sisters of the Poor took their fight against the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate to the web — complete with visual aids — last week.
On a new website, launched last Tuesday, the nursing home operators break their lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services into basic explanations, infographics and even a comic strip.
The Little Sisters, who operate 29 nursing homes across the country, are among several groups who sued for an exemption from an ACA mandate that requires them to provide contraceptive coverage for employees. The group argues that signing an accommodation waiver required to receive an exemption from the mandate violates their religious freedom.
The nuns received a surprise visit of support from Pope Francis when he visited the United States in September.
“The reason we've taken it so far is that the fines being imposed on us would represent $70 million dollars across our homes in the United States, so that's an impossible amount for us,” Sister Constance Veit, communications director for the order, told CNSNews.com. “If it was some small amount, maybe we would say okay, we'll pay the fine and stick to our beliefs, but that kind of money is just impossible, so we really have no choice but to see it through to the end.”
The sisters' case is slated to be heard by the Supreme Court on March 23.
In a decision handed down last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled the waiver required to receive an exemption from the mandate doesn't violate the organization's' religious rights, bringing the number of appeals courts siding with the government on the issue to eight. Only one court has ruled otherwise.
"All plaintiffs must do to opt out is express what they believe and seek what they want via a letter or two-page form,” wrote U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Judge Cornelia Pillard in one decision last November. "The accommodation requires as little as it can from the objectors while still serving the government's compelling interests."