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Little Sisters waging big fight at Supreme Court


RICHARD WOLF

Source:
USA Today
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
3/23/2016

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ABSTRACTLittle Sisters waging big fight at Supreme Court SUBSCRIBE NOW to get home delivery News Sports Life Money Tech Travel Opinion Weather Icon Humidity Precip. Winds Open settings Settings Enter City, State or Zip Cancel Set Close settings Full Forecast Crosswords Elections 2016 Investigations Video Stocks Apps Best-Selling Books Classifieds College Corrections Interactives Newsletters Photo Galleries Portfolio Tracker Scores Newsstand Audio More News Sports Life Money Tech Travel Opinion Weather Crosswords Elections 2016 Investigations Video Stocks Apps Best-Selling Books Classifieds College Corrections Interactives Newsletters Photo Galleries Portfolio Tracker Scores Newsstand Audio Search Firefly Hi Already a subscriber? Sign In Subscribe today to additional USAToday products. Subscribe Now Already a print edition subscriber, but don't have a login? Activate your digital access. Manage your account settings. My Account Log Out Get the news Log In or Subscribe to skip Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Google Sign in FAQ 376 2 Share This Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about Facebook Email Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Little Sisters waging big fight at Supreme Court Charity is among religious non-profits challenging Obamacare's 'contraceptive mandate.' Post to Facebook Little Sisters waging big fight at Supreme Court Charity is among religious non-profits challenging Obamacare's 'contraceptive mandate.' Check out this story on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1Rkj7wX {# #} Cancel Send Sent! A link has been sent to your friend's email address. Posted! A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. 77 Join the Nation's Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Little Sisters waging big fight at Supreme Court Richard Wolf , USA TODAY 6:01 a.m. EDT March 23, 2016 On wednesday, Sister Constance Veit will be inside the Supreme Court to hear a landmark case pitting her charity — the Little Sisters of the Poor — and several other religious non-profits against the United States. Jarrad Henderson, USA TODAY Sister Constance Veit of Little Sisters of the Poor shares a laugh with Eva Howse on March 21, 2016, in Washington. (Photo: Jarrad Henderson, USA TODAY) 376 CONNECT TWEET 2 LINKEDIN 77 COMMENT EMAIL MORE WASHINGTON — Constance Veit has been caring for the elderly poor for 28 years — feeding them, treating their illnesses, sitting with them until they take their last breaths. She wasn't looking for a fight with the federal government. But on Wednesday, Veit will be inside the Supreme Court to hear a landmark case pitting her charity — the Little Sisters of the Poor — and several other religious non-profits against the United States. The specific fight is about insurance coverage for birth control, but the broader battle is over religious freedom. It's one that divided the high court along ideological lines in 2014, when it ruled that companies cannot be forced under the Affordable Care Act to offer insurance coverage for certain birth control methods they equate with abortion. Now religious non-profits want an even broader exemption. “We’ve always lived our lives quietly and out of the limelight,” says Veit, known as Sister Constance among her colleagues at the Little Sisters’ home for the elderly here, across from Catholic University. “We don’t go around filing lawsuits.” USA TODAY USA TODAY's 2015 Supreme Court Decision Tracker But they do know how to handle the attention that comes from being the most high-profile plaintiff among the schools, hospitals, charities and Roman Catholic clergy whose seven separate lawsuits have been joined before the justices. Veit, Little Sisters' communications director, has grown accustomed to granting interviews, conducting tours, even writing op-eds in The New York Times . The 177-year-old charity, founded in the wake of the French Revolution, now includes 2,300 sisters who operate 190 residential facilities in 31 countries. Its 27 homes in the U.S. each serve about 100 residents. One of the residents in Washington is Carl Bergquist, 78, the "mayor" of the D.C. home by virtue of chairing the resident council. He says he'll pray for the plaintiffs during the 90-minute oral argument Wednesday and is "just hoping common sense will prevail." Taking a reporter aside, Bergquist wonders why there's so much fuss about contraception. "There's not much sex going on here," he says. Sister Constance Veit of Little Sisters of the Poor speaks with Carl "The Mayor" Bergquist, 78, on March 21, 2016, in Washington.   (Photo: Jarrad Henderson, USA TODAY) While the case brings together issues of religious freedom and reproductive rights under the umbrella of Obama.......