Little Sisters of the Poor Now With a Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court Say Why We Can't "Just Sign the Form" for the Obamacare Mandate


This order of Catholic sisters, who care for the impoverished elderly, explains that “we Little Sisters of the Poor are frequently praying that 2016 will be remembered as the year we were able to return to our quiet lives at the service of the elderly after a happy resolution to our legal struggle over the HHS Contraceptive Mandate.” If we sign the form they are trying to force us to sign, the government would commandeer our health care plan in order to distribute abortion-causing drugs and contraceptives among our workers. This would involve our formal cooperation in wrongdoing. Not only would such cooperation constitute a grave sin on our part, but it would likely cause scandal, leading others to sin as well.


I will be interested to see how the American Catholic Church backs up these brave women acting in good conscience before their Christ. If it used its full influence it could stop this persecution of freedom of conscience. If it gives lip service it will be seen as Peter denying Christ by many who expect more from it. Who is it? You.


If a church had to sign a form saying that they objected to gay marriages and wanted to be excluded from having to do so (they don’t have to, but let’s assume that they did), do you think that would impinge on their religious and moral beliefs? Surely it could be said that they are asserting them.

Is it feasible to suggest that if the church doesn’t want to perform the marriages and someone else does, the church is implicated in someway?

I fail to see the difference between that example and the contraception problem. It’s quite a simple matter:

Do you want to supply contraceptives? No? Well, OK, you’re excluded from having to do so. End of story.


The problem is that the state is saying the Sisters would not be complicit in providing contraception-----except the State supposedly can’t proceed without their signature, so it becomes a “you don’t have to cooperate with this at all!!!-----------except we need your signature to proceed with our plans, bwahahahaha!!!”

If distributing contraceptives truly did not involve the Sisters, then the State wouldn’t be demanding a signature or anything else.


Did you read the article? The author pretty clearly explains why these two examples are not alike. It would be more like if the government required the Churches to sign a form and that authorized someone else to perform the wedding, and it would still be a “Catholic” wedding in the church and recorded in the books.

Here is a link to the SCOUTUS blog with some good analysis and a link to EBSA Form 700, if you are interesting in actually learning the objection to the form.


What has been done is that religious organisations have asked that they be allowed exemption from some of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. To whit, providing contraception. This has been done. And, incidentally, I agree with the government allowing exemption.

What the sisters are then doing is rejecting the means whereby that accomodation is to be allowed. It does appear to be rediculous to ask for exception and then refuse to accept it when it is offered. In fact, one could say that the very act of requesting exemption is, in itself, granting permission for others to offer the service.

The sisters are in fact saying that they do not want to be involved in supplying contraception and they don’t want anyone else doing it either. I have no objection to the first point, but they have zero right to impose their beliefs on others.

Let’s try another example. A gay Mardi Gras is planned to march down your street. The local council has asked you if you have any objection. If you write to them they will, redirect the parade.

Do you refuse to do so because you would consider it promoting the Mardi Gras?

Incidentally, the sisters do not have to use the form. They can simply write to the Secretary of Health stating that they have an objection. And one wonders what would happen if someone from the department actually came around and simply asked them if they had an objection. Would they refuse to answer?


Hi Bradski,

I don’t believe those analogies are akin to this situation, if they were I would agree with you.

From my understanding, I believe a better analogy would be, whether you would like exemption from teaching your kid about a political ideology with which you conscientiously object to, and them saying, “Okay, your exempt, now just allow us to send another person in to teach it to your kid” that is not exemption.

Or an exemption to having your kids teeth removed, and them saying “No worries, just sign this form and Dr X will do it instead of you.” That’s not an exemption.

And besides these analogies, when it comes to ‘Abortion’ that is on a different level again, because it involves the taking of an innocent life which is grossly unjust.

I agree with The Little Sister’s of the Poor and think their stance is a totally just one.

May God Bless Them.

I hope this has helped

Thank you for reading


Anyone who is involved in pro life and not pro death will tell you that artificial contraception stops life and are abortifacients – the sisters are not imposing they are just living a life that respects life from the moment of conception until its end. A few supreme judges in 1973 decided to impose their unbelief in life on the american people and have opened the path to generations of children killed by their imposing votes.


How about this one. You have a moral objection to slavery. The government mandates that you buy all your employees a slave. If you sign a form stating your objection, they will direct another person to purchase a slave for that employee on your behalf.

The end result is that slavery, to which you have an objection to, has still been more widely promulgated.


Another hypothetical example: HHS declares that all health insurance plans must cover infanticide free of charge, just like it now mandates free contraception coverage. You object to infanticide and refuse to provide such a policy. The government says, “No problem, just sign this form and we will get someone else to provide it.” By signing the form, you become complicit in providing coverage for infanticide.

A moral evil is a moral evil. And the way things are going, this example may not be too far fetched.

The problem is not in exemptions or waivers. The problem is in the government mandating moral evils.


This isn’t a good analogy because you are quite entitled to decide what is best for your children. You cannot do that in regard to your employers.

This is a much better analogy. But there is only one answer. You object to slavery and sign the exemption. That in no way WHATSOEVER makes me complicit in slavery. And I would be quite entitled to make my views known and pursue all legal channels to convince people to have it banned.

To argue that by agreeing to an exemption you are in some way supporting the very thing for which you are exempt is risible. It would be akin to a conscientious objector (which is exactly how you could describe the sisters) being accused of supporting the war.

Maybe you could tell me what you think the sisters reaction would be if they were asked in a court of law if they wanted exemption. Nothing to sign. No forms to fill in. Just a simple question: ‘Do you want to supply contraception or do you have a moral objection to being forced to do so and would like exemption’.

Would they just sit there and refuse to answer? I doubt it. They have already made their views quite clear. They are quite content to tell anyone who would listen.

Personally, I would just send around a JP and tell them…if you want exemption then you are going to have to ask for it. Anything you say will be legally binding.

I could ask you the same. If you had a business would you want exemption? According to your argument you would refuse to answer.


The problem from where I stand is that you would like to dictate to everyone else what their moral position should be. Thank, but no thanks.

These are decisions to be made, not by governments or religions (that’s plural because I don’t want you thinking that you are the only game in town), but by the individual. Feel free to obey the dictates of your particular religion and the particular denomination to which you belong, but don’t imagine that you have any right to impose them on everyone else.

We don’t want to live in a theocracy, now do we…


Exactly so. So if an individual’s employer does not provide the type of coverage the individual desires, the individual can apply for a different policy. In cases like this, the government certainly has the resources to provide contraceptives, or abortions, or abortifacients, at no cost to any individual who wants them, without involving religious sisters, or employers who object to providing such things.

I don’t want to live in a theocracy in which contraceptives and abortifacients are mandated by the HHS. My theologians are better than theirs.


Yes you can, the employee if he/she wanted It, can get it by another means, I should not be forced to facilitate it.

When it comes to abortion, absolutely. Just like when it comes to Murder, absolutely.

This pisses me off when people are subtly referring to abortion. That kind of rhetoric can get stuffed. It’s murder.

This has nothing to do with a theocracy or not, furthermore, we don’t want to live in an atheistic dictatorship either.

Such bs rhetoric, the Little Sisters of the Poor are totally just in their stance.




Hi Bradski :wave: I checked out what faith you were because I figured you are an atheist and gosh I was on the mark! There was a time in our world when there were no atheists. Imagine that, even if they believed in a sun god they believed in something more than themselves. The problem I see with atheistic governments like Communism for example is that they dictate and destroy those who disagree with them. What makes you think your view of how people should not have rules which promote, lets say, the ten commandments would protect those who freely believe in God from being killed or put in prison? Living a moral code such as the commandments would give us a world of peace but how few really strive to live the ten commandments that existed way before atheism.


Correct. So if you don’t want to supply it there should be a method by which you can be exempt. Sounds like a good idea to me.

You guys kill me, honestly. You complain about having to be forced to do something against your beliefs and when you are given a form which will you allow to be exempt from it, which is exactly what you wanted, you complain about having to sign it. And they say satire is dead…

Just let me know where you would like to draw the line. Do you want to prevent my son having sex outside marriage or my daughter from using contraception? You better make up a list of do’s and don’ts because I think it might be a good idea to find out in advance what moral laws you are going to make before we agree to you making them.

Let me know when the list is ready.

Put it at the top of your list, then. I’d also like to see a world with a lot less abortions as well. Maybe we should try to increase the efficacy and use of contraceptives to stop people getting pregnant when they don’t want to. Or maybe convince Catholic women to stop having them. They have more than any other denomination.

Put your own house in order and it might increase the credibility of any arguments that you use.

You want to dictate to all those who are not Christian (and particularly not Catholic) your Christian (and specifically Catholic) ideas of morality. That would seem to suggest ‘theocracy’ to me (def: a government ruled by or subject to religious authority).

If you want the government to mandate morality according to your particular religious authority, then that would be…a theocracy.

And what’s with the atheistic dictatorship? Did someone propose that? What a dumb idea.


I don’t think that people were completely surprised by Moses telling them that murder was something to be discouraged. Or stealing. ‘Hey, we have to stop taking other people’s stuff from today onwards!’.

But do you want to see adultery and blasphemy made illegal? What about if you don’t honour your mother and father? What would the punishment be? What about not keeping the sabbath holy or having another God? How would you word this rule? And how would it apply to Hindus?

I’m not sure you’ve thought this through.


Well, I might not have thought it through as well as you but different laws broken have different consequences, a 2 year old might tear up a fifty dollar bill and I might say no to the child, or my 7 year old having a tantrum might tear up a fifty dollar bill and then she might be put in ‘time out’ but I wouldn’t kill her for doing the act of tearing my 50 dollars to pieces.
So also the commandments have different consequences when they are broken. But killing a child within the womb takes away a life, blaspheming God only hurts the person who does it or hurts those who have to listen to it. Just like stealing a dollar bill is a little different than stealing a man’s car or pay check he needed for his family. There are all kinds of laws in society and they all have different consequences. But without mercy and God is merciful then your idea of laws become dictates that take away freedom instead giving freedom to live laws which come from a divine being not from some person who no longer believes in someone higher than his own intelligence.


I may be off topic here, but what amazes me is that this must be an issue for the Supreme Court of our land as our Little Sisters of the Poor (and so very many groups similar to them) NEVER would have had to go to the Supreme Court before…over a hundred years of US history would this have EVER been an issue…sad, very sad. What on earth is going on in our country…?! Logic brings me to the conclusion that something evil must be trying to restructure our society…we really need to think about this…


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit