Thought the Hobby Lobby victory put an end to the fight over the birth control mandate? Think again!
The final rules for Obamacare’s contraception coverage, released on Friday, include a new way around religious objections, so that women will still be covered for all forms of birth control, regardless of the beliefs of their employer.
According to the Wall Street Journal's report, the rules state that if a closely held for-profit company has a religious objection to covering certain types of birth control, they may write a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services specifying their objection and religious beliefs. HHS will contact the insurer, which must then provide the objectionable forms of birth control at no cost to the company.
Religiously affiliated groups are already protesting the new rules, arguing that even if companies are not directly paying for the birth control, they’re still responsible for the plan distributing it and therefore morally complicit.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented both Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor in their lawsuits against the mandate, released a statement slamming the new rules and saying there is "no reason at all the government needs religious employers to help it distribute these products.”
"Just last week the Supreme Court ordered HHS not to enforce the exact rules they finalized today. But the government still won’t give up on its quest to force nuns and other religious employers to distribute contraceptives."
“Women across the country should have access to preventive services, including contraception,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement. “At the same time, we recognize the deeply held views on these issues, and we are committed to securing women’s access to important preventive services at no additional cost under the Affordable Care Act, while respecting religious beliefs.”