Everett Piper
President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
March 21, 2016

On Wednesday of this week, Oklahoma Wesleyan University will stand before the Supreme Court of the United States, forced to defend its female employees in a law suit against the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the regulatory abortifacient mandate of the Affordable Care Act.  More specifically the pro-life women of Oklahoma Wesleyan join with the Little Sisters of the Poor (a nationwide Catholic order of nuns who tend to the sick and the poor) in saying that they will not accept the presumption of the government intruding into one of the most private area of their lives and, thereby, telling them what contraception they must include in their health insurance.

Oklahoma Wesleyan’s reasons for its lawsuit are at least three fold:  First, this is government invasion into the private lives of women and it defies all common sense. How can anyone with a straight face possibly suggest that a Catholic order of nuns, who are celibate, needs any contraception, let alone that which induces abortion? Second, this is government intrusion that is anti-choice, for it denies women the dignity of making their own decisions concerning what reproductive products and provisions best suit their individual healthcare needs, religious vows and personal values. How can anyone argue that they are “pro-choice” but then refuse to grant the Little Sisters of the Poor, as well as the female employees of OKWU, the right to their corresponding reproductive choices? Third, this is government overreach and is by definition anti-freedom for it explicitly restricts the free expression and practice of the private citizen by making her subservient to the State and, thus, subject to fines and penalties for non-compliance. How can anyone argue that a free people should ever be subjected to federal prosecution and penalty for choosing not to participate in the supply and/or provision of reproductive products and services they don’t want and won’t use?

The Wesleyan Church has stood firm for human freedom and the dignity of women since its inception some 150 years ago. Today Oklahoma Wesleyan University finds itself before the Supreme Court of the United States, forced to defend its female employees who, because of their religious convictions, simply want the freedom to choose healthcare coverage that is consistent with their faith and personal lifestyle. They want to exercise their choice to not buy a product or service that includes abortion inducing drugs. How is it possibly pro-woman and or pro-freedom to force them to do otherwise? Frankly, the women at OKWU are smart enough to make their own decisions on what contraception they do and don’t want. The nuns at the Little Sisters of the Poor as well as the faculty at OKWU don’t need the government intruding into their private lives and telling them what to do. Frankly, it defies all common sense and denies these women their “right to choose” to suggest otherwise.

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