SF nuns say they are caught in the crossfire over a battle over birth control

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Seven nuns from the Little Sisters of the Poor listened in court Friday morning as their attorney and attorneys for the state of California argued over whether the religious group should have to pay for contraceptive coverage as part of their health care benefits, since contraception violates their religious beliefs.

The Little Sisters of the Poor provide care for the elderly, especially during their final days. The group describes its mission as offering "the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to himself."

The case is before the Ninth Circuit Court which has not yet made a decision.

The three judges asked several questions during the hearing. The attorney for the Little Sisters of the Poor, Mark Rienzi, liked what he heard in court and is feeling good about their case.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a written statement saying "Women are entitled to make their own healthcare decisions without interference from politicians or their employers. Congress made clear that all women and their families have the right to access cost-free birth control under the ACA. The Trump administration's rules attempt to trample these rights with no regard for public comment or the rule of law. We will continue to fight for a woman's right to access cost-free birth control and make independent decisions about her own reproductive healthcare."

Rienzi thinks the nuns are in the crossfire of a political fight. He believes the state just wants to sue President Donald Trump because it is good politics. The sisters of the poor want out of the issue.

The judges have not said when they will issue a decision.
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