Nuns oppose new health care plan

Catholic convent sues Obama administration over birth control mandate

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The possibility of a federal government shutdown is looking, and while efforts to avoid it continue some wonder what impact a government shutdown could have on Obama's health care law.

But the Little Sisters of the Poor, a 170-year-old Roman Catholic convent that cares for thousands of poor, elderly people all over the world, is a new entity challenging the new health care plan. The organization has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration to challenge the law.

Some nuns say they do not want to abandon their Catholic beliefs and do not wish to pay for birth control, which is included under the new health care plan. They also say they do not want to be punished by the government with fines and penalties for not complying.

Sister Patricia Thompson of the Sisters of Mercy, an order of nuns who serve in Columbus, explains why this is such an important issue.

"What we believe as Catholics is that life begins the moment the egg is fertilized, and so therefore that has to be honored and respected because there is a new human being…God is the one who gives that life, and so if God gives the life we have to protect it and contraception interferes that process. They are trying to prevent pregnancy," she says.

The Obama administration did grant waivers to some religious employers, but that exemption does not apply to entities like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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