Yesterday was a huge day at the U.S. Supreme Court, as a group of dedicated nuns took their case for religious freedom to the eight Justices. The government is forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception and abortifacients, which are directly against their faith. If they don’t do it, they face fines up to $70 million!
Students for Life stood with these sisters, whose order is committed to taking care of the elderly, and our own Tina Whittington gave a rousing call to action at the Court. Here is how she described what happened:
It was important for me, representing Students for Life of America, to be in front of the Court yesterday to stand with our friends in the pro-life movement whose religious rights are under attack. We work with students across the country who are constantly under attack for their position on Life and oftentimes see their free speech rights violated. It is important for us to make sure our students see these women, the Little Sisters of the Poor, taking their fight into the public square, defending their religious rights, and refusing to back down. Sometimes we need a hero, someone to lead the way, and show us that when we stand for what is right things can change. These women are heroes.
As to the mood at the Court it was much calmer than last month’s hearing on the Texas HB2 case.
However, the pro-abortion side again missed the mark. Those protestors were crying out that this case is about restricting access to birth control and thereby restricting access to abortion – that was their rallying point but that’s not what this case is about at all.
This is about protecting religious freedom, all religious freedom, including those who would say that their faith permits birth control or abortion. The difference here is that the sisters don’t want or need birth control and the government is forcing them to provide something that they believe is a grave evil. That is an overstep of government and the Constitution, I hope the Justices see that and side overwhelmingly with the sisters.
It is so important that we continue to rally and bring people together for these key issues. This activism has a value that goes beyond just supporting these nuns; it gave us a platform to engage media and social media. The abortion rights activists at the Court yesterday aren’t the only ones who have the facts of the case wrong. We were able to educate hundreds of thousands of people that we otherwise wouldn’t have reached.
If we want to keep our religious freedom and rights of conscious we must never stop using our right to free speech.