November 08, 2018

CUA Law Professor Mark Rienzi was quoted in a November 7, 2018, National Catholic Register article entitled "Trump Administration Updates Conscience Exemptions for Contraceptive Mandate"

Trump Administration Updates Conscience Exemptions for Contraceptive Mandate

From: National Catholic Register
Date: November 7, 2018

. . .

Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, offered praise for the new rules, saying they signaled the end of a "long, unnecessary culture war."

Under the Affordable Care Act, employer-provided health insurance plans are required to cover certain "preventative services." These were defined by guidance issued under the Obama Administration as including all contraception methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including abortifacient birth control pills, IUDs, and sterilization procedures.

This provision was not included in the original bill, but was announced in January 2012 by then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Initially, there were no exemptions for those opposed to the distribution of contraceptives due to their deeply-held religious beliefs. Eventually, an exemption was made, but it was so narrow in scope it excluded religious orders such as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Little Sisters of the Poor, along with several other organizations, including EWTN, filed suit against HHS over the mandate.

Rienzi, whose organization represented the Little Sisters of the Poor, said that the change in administration policy meant attention could now turn to ongoing cases in the states.

"Today, at long last, the federal government finalized the rule providing a religious exemption from the HHS Mandate to the Little Sisters and other religious non-profits."

"All that is left is for state governments to admit that there are many ways to deliver these services without nuns, and the Little Sisters can return to serving the elderly poor in peace."

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Click here to access the article.