Companies with "sincerely held religious or moral objections" will not be required to provide birth control
The Trump administration has rescinded the birth control mandate to relieve employers with “a sincerely held religious or moral objection” of the obligation to provide birth control to employees. The HHS mandate, which was enacted during previous administration, had been the focus of a series of lawsuits from religious and non-profit employers, who contended that the mandate was in breach of their religious freedom.
The New York Times reports that the Trump administration was inspired to make these changes by their “desire to bring to a close the more than five years of litigation” over the contraception mandate. The new rules exempt employers from the compulsory action based on religious beliefs, as well as non-religious moral objection.
While this change in policy is expected to bring a close to current lawsuits, a fresh string of them is expected to be launched by women’s advocacy and public health groups who oppose the White House’s move.
The administration has set the changes to take effect immediately, stating, “it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to engage in full notice and comment rule-making.” They will, however, be open to public comments.