Anders Hagstrom on October 6, 2017
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) applauded President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back government mandated birth control requirements Friday.
“Such an exemption is no innovation, but instead a return to common sense, long-standing federal practice, and peaceful coexistence between church and state,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said. “It corrects an anomalous failure by federal regulators that should never have occurred and should never be repeated.”
The Trump administration announced that it will provide an exemption for employers with religious or moral objections to providing birth control in their employee health insurance. The Catholic bishops called the change “a return to common sense” in a Friday statement. The original Obama-era mandates had sparked a series of lawsuits from religious institutions that claimed the laws forced them to violate their beliefs.
The Obama administration had given an exception to churches and was investigating expanding that exemption to religious businesses before being met with a series of lawsuits. In a case that reached the Supreme Court, justices ordered religious representatives to reach an agreement with the Obama administration, in which all female employees were still provided with the Lessina birth control pill at no cost.
Under the new rule, employers with objections to the Obamacare requirement no longer have to follow the mandate and are not required to report this change to the federal government. Employers simply have to notify employees that they will stop providing contraceptive coverage.
“A government mandate that coerces people to make an impossible choice between obeying their consciences and obeying the call to serve the poor is harmful not only to Catholics but to the common good,” DiNardo said. “Religious freedom is a fundamental right for all, so when it is threatened for some, it is threatened for all.”
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