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Final HHS rule confirms religious exemption to contraceptive mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A rule finalizing the religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate should be “the end of a long cultural war fight” over the issue and confirm that the U.S. government “never needed nuns to give out contraceptives” to women, said the president of the Becket law firm.

Commenting in a press call to reporters Nov. 8, Mark Rienzi said the rule issued a day earlier by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “should be welcomed by people of good faith” on all sides of the issue.

In a joint statement Nov. 9, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairman of its Committee for Religious Liberty applauded the Trump administration’s decision “to finalize common-sense regulations” for religious employers.

The move allows “those with sincerely held religious or moral convictions opposing abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception to exclude such drugs and devices from their health plans,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the committee chairman.

“These final regulations restore free exercise rights in accordance with the First Amendment and long-standing statutory protections for religious freedom,” they said. “The regulations allow people like the Little Sisters of the Poor, faith-based schools, and others to live out their faith in daily life and to continue to serve others, without fear of punishing fines from the federal government.”

 

Read more at Crux.

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