Trump admin announces new guidelines allowing conscience exemptions for contraceptive mandate

President Trump has a “pen and a phone,” too, just like his predecessor, Barack Obama. And in the same manner that Obama’s minions enacted regulations requiring employers to provide subsidies for contraception that violate deeply held religious beliefs of some major segments of the church-going public, President Trump’s bureaucrats have announced new ones that restore religious protections. The Catholic Herald reports:

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate.

Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt.

According to a press release from HHS, the new rules “provide an exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities and individuals that object to services covered by the mandate on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Thus,” the release said, “entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing contraceptive services (or services which they consider to be abortifacients) would be exempt from the mandate and no longer be required to provide such coverage.”

With the House of Representatives in Democrats’ hands, this is the best that the president can do to protect religious conscience, at least until 2021, if he and the GOP triumph at the polls in 2020. If not, President Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey, or whoever could easily re-write the same guidelines, or even pass and sign legislation that forces employers to provide medical products and services that violate their consciences.

President Trump has a “pen and a phone,” too, just like his predecessor, Barack Obama. And in the same manner that Obama’s minions enacted regulations requiring employers to provide subsidies for contraception that violate deeply held religious beliefs of some major segments of the church-going public, President Trump’s bureaucrats have announced new ones that restore religious protections. The Catholic Herald reports:

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate.

Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt.

According to a press release from HHS, the new rules “provide an exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities and individuals that object to services covered by the mandate on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Thus,” the release said, “entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing contraceptive services (or services which they consider to be abortifacients) would be exempt from the mandate and no longer be required to provide such coverage.”

With the House of Representatives in Democrats’ hands, this is the best that the president can do to protect religious conscience, at least until 2021, if he and the GOP triumph at the polls in 2020. If not, President Kamala Harris or Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey, or whoever could easily re-write the same guidelines, or even pass and sign legislation that forces employers to provide medical products and services that violate their consciences.