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National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life Praise U.S. Supreme Court Decision for Upholding the Right of Conscience in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON, JUNE 8, 2020—The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor in a decision that protected the elderly nuns’ right of conscience. The vote was 7-2 with Justice Clarence Thomas writing the opinion of the Court.

President Trump’s appointees Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch joined Chief Justice Roberts andJustice Alitoin the majority opinion offered by Justice Thomas. Justices Kagan and Breyer concurred with the Court’s judgment with Justice Kagan writing a concurring opinion joined by Justice Breyer.

“One of our most fundamental rights is the right to the free exercise of our beliefs and that these beliefs are not trampled by government overreach,”said CarolTobias, president of National Right to Life.“We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the importance of protecting conscience rights.”

The case against the Little Sisters of the Poor is part of a long-standing attempt by pro-abortion groups and their allies, going back decades, to chip away at conscience rights protections. The Supreme Court heard a vigorous debate over whether these Catholic nuns, and others with religious and moral objections, are bound by a mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under a provision of ObamaCare. The mandate would force them to provide health insurance coverage for products and procedures they find “morally unacceptable.”

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“If we don’t have life, we don’t have anything. If we don’t protect life, we jeopardize everything. And if nothing, nothing changes. We will continue to grant ourselves and those in power the authority to end precious, innocent life. Those without that authority will have no opportunity for life as we experience it. But we have the opportunity to change that.”

These words summarize the speech given by Camille Floyd, a homeschooled junior from College Grove, who placed 2nd in the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest held virtually last week. Camille had won the Tennessee contest held in April representing Williamson/Davidson County Right to Life.

"I’m remarkably proud of Camille! Having had the opportunity to work with her for the last few years, I know what a gifted student she is. When Camille speaks, people genuinely want to hear more,” stated Frances Arthur, Pro-life Oratory Contest Chairman for TN Right to Life and the Director of TN Teen Eagles. “I was thrilled to find out how well she had done at the national event, but not surprised. Camille is a wonderful student and there are great things in store for her. With students like her and so many other competitors, I have hope for our future as well as the futures of the unborn." 

The county, state, and national contests were held virtually this year. Students had to submit a video presentation of their speech. Judges then reviewed the videos to determine the winner at the county level in Tennessee. Their winning speeches were sent to the state office where the process was repeated to select a winner to represent Tennessee in the national event. Click here to view Tennessee Right to Life's contest speeches.

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Tennessee Right to Life Condemns Supreme Court Ruling

Basic Safeguards for Women Struck Down

NASHVILLE, JUNE 29, 2020 - Leaving health and lives of women and unborn children at risk, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled against basic regulation of abortion facilities.

"Those who believe an abortion ban will be upheld as constitutional should note the lack of votes for the most basic protections for women and children," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization criticized today's ruling as unfair, unjust, and unwise. "Women seeking abortions have, at a minimum, the right to be fully informed in a facility inspected by the state department of health (TDOH.)"

"Abortion profiteers care nothing about women's health much less the right to life of unborn children." Pro-life advocates must reevaluate our legislative strategies to determine the most effective way to save women and children from the pain and destruction of abortion decisions.

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