by Cassy Fiano | May 31, 2017 11:11 am
Barack Obama did a lot of damage to this country during his eight years as president, but little by little, the Trump administration is working to reverse that and destroy Obama’s progressive liberal legacy. One of the most controversial things that Obama did was his birth control mandate, a federal requirement that mandated employers to cover the costs of contraceptives. And that mandate is about to bite the dust.
Obama’s birth control mandate was almost immediately controversial, as religious groups rightly claimed that it violated their First Amendment rights. Groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic congregation of nuns, refused to obey the mandate; the Little Sisters of the Poor notoriously took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump pledged to roll back the mandate, eliminating the requirement for religious employers, and it seems his administration has taken the first steps to keeping that promise.
Earlier this month, Trump signed an executive order directing three cabinet departments to review amended regulations to “address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.” When Trump signed the order in the White House rose garden, he had the Little Sisters of the Poor there with him, as his guests, telling them that their “long ordeal will soon be over.” “With this executive order, we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty,” he said.
Now, the White House Office of Management and Budget is looking over a new rule that would “relax” the requirements, which would become effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register.
However, it won’t be that easy; reproductive rights groups are already vowing to fight back. “President Trump’s executive order discriminates against women and robs them of essential preventive care,” Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “Without health coverage of contraception under the ACA, countless women will lose their basic right to prevent pregnancy and plan when they have children. Plain and simple: President Trump’s executive order will hurt women. And the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court.”
Religious groups, however, like the Family Research Council, are applauding Trump’s decision. “Finally, the federal government realizes the immoral and insane mandate that forces organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor to include contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans,” FRC president Tony Perkins said. “This step today starts the process of reversing the devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith.”
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