WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A majority of Americans believe the current “accommodation” imposed by the Obama administration on a host of religious organizations, including the Little Sisters of the Poor, is “unfair,” according to a new poll.
A Marist poll conducted earlier this month found that 53 percent of Americans oppose the system, which the nuns and other people of faith say allows the government to “hijack our health plans” to provide services that violate their beliefs. Respondents believe the current arrangement is overly restrictive by a whopping 21-point margin.
The HHS mandate requires employers to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and potentially abortion-inducing drugs to all female employees of child-bearing age with zero co-pay.
Some organizations must sign a form indicating they have sincere religious beliefs that oppose providing some or all of these services.
But their insurance plans are compelled to furnish them, anyway.
Religious organizations say signing that form triggers the insurance company to begin offering those services to their employees directly. Signing the form, they argue, requires them to cooperate in sin, a violation of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in the case and is likely to decide the case this term, despite the possibility of a 4-4 deadlock on the short-handed court.
Justices asked for both sides of the controversy to submit alternative plans that would allow the government to accomplish its plan of providing contraception to all American women without the religious employers' involvement.
Both sides made their filing on April 12. They will then file responses to the opposite side's brief on Wednesday.
“It is not reasonable for the government to demand that some – and only some – religious employers engage in activity that is totally unnecessary to the government's stated purpose of providing elective and morally problematic drugs to employees,” said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, which sponsored the poll. “Such action doesn't just violate the rights of employers like the Little Sisters, it is also at odds with the American people's understanding of basic fairness, and our long-standing commitment to protecting the deeply-held beliefs of every American – especially when those beliefs are the minority view.”