U.S. argues nuns have no complaint over birth control requirement

Maggie Fox – NBC News – Monday January 6, 2014 (originally published 3 Jan)

Little Sisters of the Poor Chapel
Mother Patricia Mary walks in the chapel at the Mullen Home for the Aged, run by Little Sisters of the Poor, in Denver. The group wants relief from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. Image: Brennan Linsley / NBC via AP

A group of Colorado nuns has no reason to appeal the birth control mandate in the health care law because it doesn’t have to provide contraception anyway, the U.S. government argued on Friday.

But the Little Sisters of the Poor say they cannot authorize someone else to “sin on their behalf”.

It’s an early skirmish in a year expected to be full of battles over the so-called contraceptive mandate in the Obamacare law.

The administration says the group is already exempt from the law, because their insurance is provided by Christian Brothers Services. As a church organization, it’s excused from the law’s requirements. The nuns have said they don’t want to sign a waiver asking for an exemption.

“With the stroke of their own pen, applicants can secure for themselves the relief they seek from this Court,” the Department of Justice wrote in its response. “They need only. . .

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