Little Sisters of the Poor, a 175-year-old Catholic order that serves the elderly poor, is one of several appellate plaintiffs who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the mandate for certain drugs and counseling services created by Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor, sat in on the oral arguments Wednesday, and offered the following statement afterward:
"The Lord has given me a beautiful calling; that of being a Little Sister of the Poor.
"We Little Sisters of the Poor are a group of women who make religious vows to God. We dedicate ourselves to serving the elderly poor regardless of race or religion, offering them a home where they are welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to Himself. We have done this for more than 175 years.
"But now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters.
"We don't understand why the government is doing this when there is an easy solution that doesn't involve us—it can provide these services on the exchanges. It's also hard to understand why the government is doing this when one-third of all Americans aren't even covered by this mandate, and large corporations like Exxon, Visa and Pepsi are fully exempt, yet the government threatens us with fines of $70 million per year if we don't comply.
"It is a privilege for us to care for the most vulnerable members of our society; serving them, comforting them, being a loving and healing presence in their lives; just being a 'Little Sister to them' is our joy. All we ask is that we can continue to do this work.
"After hearing the argument today, we are hopeful for a positive outcome. We will continue to trust God because—as our Mother Foundress St. Jeanne Jugan said: 'God will help us; the work is His.'
"Thank you and God bless."