Religious employers and faith-based organizations are breathing a sigh of relief as the White House moves to make good on Trump’s pledge to roll back the contraceptive mandate. Federal officials are reportedly finalizing a rule that will roll back Obama-era requirements that force employers to offer health insurance plans that include controversial forms of birth control. The White House Office of Management and Budget said it was in the process of reviewing an “interim final rule” to remove the mandate, which would undo one of the most unconstitutional aspects of Obamacare with or without a full repeal.
The move is not unexpected; Trump signed an executive order at the outset of May that directed his cabinet to look for healthcare regulations that were butting up against “conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.” And, as the New York Times pointed out, he made it clear what he wanted when he praised the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Rose Garden while signing the order. That was no coincidence, seeing as how the religious organization was, until recently, locked in a lawsuit against the Obama administration over the contraceptive mandate.
“With this executive order,” Trump told them, “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”
The National Women’s Law Center vowed to sue the administration if it repealed the controversial rule, but as Ed Morrissey pointed out on his Hot Air blog, such lawsuits would be unlikely to succeed. To win, the activists would have to prove that the Trump administration is standing in the way of women who need access to contraceptive care. But the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study in 2009 that demonstrated that “contraceptive use in the United States is virtually universal among women of reproductive age: 99 percent of all women who had ever had intercourse had used at least one contraceptive method in their lifetime.”
Access to contraceptives has not been a legitimate problem in the U.S. for a long time – certainly for a much longer period of time than the Affordable Care Act has been around. It won’t be a problem after the administration scraps these rules.
Of course, the Democrats never cared about solving a “problem” in the first place, and that has been borne out by the many court decisions striking down the Obama administration’s tireless attempts to regulate religious beliefs. This was always about making faith illegal – or, to put it another way, to replace faith in God with faith in government.
Trump can’t bring back America’s religious beliefs with an executive order, but he can certainly allow those Americans who choose faith to do so without risking their businesses, their jobs, or their very freedom.