17 Nov Administration cleaning up
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued two final rules Nov. 7 that
exempt certain entities from the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) contraceptive mandate if their
opposition is based on religious or moral grounds. The rules are likely to be challenged in court,
as have been previous HHS rules on this topic.
The ACA requires that group health insurance cover contraceptives. The rules will extend the
exemption now available to places of worship to faith-based nonprofits, religious schools and
private businesses. The final rules closely resemble interim proposals that were released in
In other words, we already knew what we wanted, but we couldn’t make it official until we’d
gone over the whole thing with the lawyers.
Of course, while religious freedom and pro-life advocates welcomed the final rules, saying "Pro-
life organizations should not be forced into betraying the very values they were established to
advance" and the religious exemption rule "will allow such freedom," said March for Life
President Jeanne Mancini. A spokesperson for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said,
"We're prepared to use all legal tools to challenge this rule that risks a woman's access to birth
control." Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro promised, "I will keep fighting every day
to protect women's rights." And Michelle Banker, a lawyer with the National Women's Law
Center, said the final rules are, "just as problematic as the interim final rules. And we will
absolutely continue to challenge them in court."
In other words, people who have sworn to break your independence will continue to do so.
For now, it’s being held up in court.