Trump White House gives employers leeway on birth control coverage
Some reaction, from Helen Alvaré:In a blow to Obamacare’s controversial contraceptive mandate, employers may now have more leeway to withhold birth control coverage on religious grounds, according to new rules issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.The rules would let a broad range of employers — including nonprofits, private firms and publicly traded companies — stop offering free contraceptives through their health insurance plans if they have a “sincerely held religious or moral objection,” senior agency officials said on a call about the implementation and enforcement of the new rules.
This could apply to the roughly 200 entities that have participated in about 50 lawsuits over birth control coverage, according to the agency, which said that “99.9% of women” who currently receive birth control through the contraceptive mandate would not be affected. At the time of the call, it was unclear how the administration arrived at this data point.
From EWTN, which sued over the HHS mandate:Exciting News!! The White House has overturned the contraception mandate. Here in DC, we are dealing with the national press as best we can with this fact sheet, showing it was never a rational response to “women’s health.” It was just bad politics.Your constant speaking out, your faithfulness to this cause, has been an important part of the groundswell of public outcry that made this possible.
“For more than five years, the HHS contraception mandate has forced Americans to violate their deeply held moral and ethical principles, without regard for the Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty,” said Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and CEO of EWTN, in an Oct. 6 statement.
“Together with our legal team, we are carefully considering the exemptions announced today and the impact this may have on our legal challenge to the mandate, but we are optimistic that this news will prove to be a step toward victory for the fundamental freedoms of many Americans.”