President Donald Trump issued his executive order promoting religious liberty just under a month ago, and it appears that we finally will see some action.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing an interim final rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rule, when implemented, will expand religious protections for faith-based organizations and religious business owners who under the requirement that companies and organizations provide contraceptives, including abortifacients, in their health care coverage would be forced to violate their conscience to comply with the law.
His executive order essentially does nothing so seeing this action, albeit late, is welcome.
Susan B. Anthony List said it was an important step toward conscience protections in a statement released Wednesday afternoon:
This interim rule, if issued as written, is an important step in acknowledging the importance of conscience rights for all Americans. The taking of human life is the antithesis of health care. No one, including religious orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor, or groups like Susan B. Anthony List, should be forced to be complicit in the provision of abortion-inducing drugs and devices. The pending interim rule is a welcome sign that the Trump Administration is continuing their work to protect the conscience rights of all Americans. We thank President Trump for taking the necessary steps to follow through on one of his core promise to voters of faith and conscience.
“Americans should always have the freedom to peacefully operate according to their beliefs without fear of severe penalties by the government. The proposed HHS regulation regarding the Obamacare abortion-pill mandate would, if made final, protect conscientiously objecting employers from having to choose between paying crippling fines or providing morally objectionable abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, or contraception. The government has put forward a common-sense solution that ensures that Americans won’t be forced to violate their deepest convictions while maintaining multiple ways for people to obtain the drugs in question if they want them. We commend President Trump and his administration for taking quick action to demonstrate their resolve to make religious liberty a first priority,” Gregory Baylor, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom said in a released statement.
The rule is likely to be challenged in court once it goes into effect.