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Late on New Year’s Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor accepted a baby cardinal of religiously affiliated groups a acting admonition from a accouterment in the Affordable Affliction Act that allows them not to awning contraception in their bloom affliction affairs if they ample out a anatomy that states that they appetite an absolution from the law for religious reasons. Go advanced and apprehend that book again. These Catholic nonprofits that capital an absolution from accoutrement their employees’ contraception needs—and got an absolution from accoutrement their employees’ contraception needs—are now angry the accouterment (that exempts them from accoutrement their employees’ contraception needs) artlessly because they don’t appetite to accept to ample out a anatomy that states that they are exempt. Why? Because their advisers charge that anatomy in adjustment to get bearing ascendancy anon from their insurers (which they charge to do because their employers—these Catholic non-profits—are exempt, as they appetite to be).
That’s right: These groups are arguing that bushing out a anatomy is a abuse of their religious abandon and that “religious freedom” agency that you should accept ascendancy over your employee’s bloom affliction decisions alike back they appear alfresco of the allowance advantage you anon accommodate for them. Alike the advocate for one of the groups, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, admits that this accusation is about aggravating to weasel out of annihilation added arduous than signing a allotment of paper. “Without an emergency injunction,” Mark Rienzi told the Associated Press, “Mother Provincial Loraine Marie Maguire has to adjudge amid two courses of action: (a) assurance and abide a self-certification form, thereby actionable her religious beliefs; or (b) debris to assurance the anatomy and pay annihilative fines.” And a backer for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, advance admonition for the Little Sisters, said, “The government has lots of means to bear contraceptives to people. It doesn’t charge to force the nuns to participate.” The botheration is that the government agrees and has set up a arrangement so that the nuns can opt out. The nuns debris to opt out, however, because opting out on cardboard will acquiesce their advisers to get that contraception coverage.
It’s important not to apprehend too abundant in Sotomayor’s alertness to admission these groups a acting admonition from signing a allotment of paper. The admonition is alone to acquiesce the cachet quo to abide until the case gets heard in court. That won’t be abundant for the advisers of these groups, who will accept to abide after employer-provided contraception advantage and will additionally be clumsy to get advantage anon from their allowance companies, but it doesn’t necessarily beggarly that the cloister is balustrade with the Sisters on this one.
Amanda Marcotte is biographer for Salon.
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