The Trump administration has issued new rules it says will “provide conscience protections for Americans who have a religious or moral objection to health insurance that covers contraception methods.”
The final rules follow interim regulations issued a little more than a year ago by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury that aimed to protect Americans with such objections from paying for health insurance that provided birth control. The departments claim a “small fraction” of the nation’s 165 million women will be affected.
The rules counter the efforts by the Obama administration to provide access to free contraception through a provision of the Affordable Care Act. Those efforts were opposed by many critics of the previous administration who now provide a base of support for the current one.
“The first of today’s final rules provides an exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities that object to services covered by the mandate on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs,” HHS said in a news release issued Wednesday (Nov. 7).
“The second final rule provides protections to nonprofit organizations and small businesses that have non-religious moral convictions opposing services covered by the mandate.”