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Trump Exempts Religious Employers from Birth Control Coverage

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Unlike Obamacare mandate, new regulations protect moral or religious objections.

More employers—including Christian-run businesses and nonprofits—can opt out of contraception coverage required under the Affordable Care Act thanks to new rules issued by the Trump administration.

The regulations exempt employers who object to treatments like birth control pills, emergency contraception, and sterilization due to “sincerely held religious beliefs” or “moral convictions.”

With these interim final rules, Trump follows through on his promise to secure religious liberty protections for employers forced to cover medicine they oppose on religious grounds.

“It is necessary and appropriate to provide the expanded exemptions,” the rules state, countering the Obama administration’s stance. The policy came out of the Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services departments.

The New York Timesreported that the rules go into effect immediately once they’re on display at the Federal Registrar’s office.

The policy was largely shaped by former Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) legal counsel Matthew Bowman, now a lawyer with the Department of Health and Human Services, The Times said.

It’s been a lengthy legal fight to get to this point. While the Affordable Care Act always offered religious exemptions to churches and houses of worship, other religious employers had to make a case for themselves.

Hobby Lobby famously won a religious exemption for certain private companies in a 2014 Supreme Court case. March for Life sued to secure an exemption on moral, not religious, grounds the following year. (Bowman actually represented March for Life in the case.)

Meanwhile, Christian colleges, charities, and non-profits have been battling the mandate in court ever since, …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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