February 4, 2018

Not News: 8 States Still Trying to Force Contraception Mandate on Little Sisters of the Poor

Friday, TheFederalist.com’s John Daniel Davidson described the deeply politicized the Steele dossier-related actions of the Obama administration and its still-present apparatchiks. Concerning a separate politics-driven attack, Davidson noted that “Obama’s Justice Department failed” at the Supreme Court in 2016 to compel the Little Sisters of the Poor to fund abortifacient drugs. That’s true, but attempts to force the Sisters into compliance have not ended.

Eight states are still trying to force the Catholic nuns to violate their consciences. The establishment press has virtually ignored those attempts.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, described the situation at Life News Wednesday evening, revealing a stunning fact virtually no one has reported since HHS issued its first contraception mandate 6-1/2 years ago:

For years under the Obama administration, the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based organizations had to fight to continue to occupy the role they had always occupied in serving the public good.

While some large for-profit companies like Exxon and Pepsi were exempt from the HHS contraceptive mandate requiring employers to cover free drugs and services that can destroy human embryos, the previous administration refused to honor the request of faith-based nonprofits which objected both to the mandate and the accounting gimmicks imposed …

Incredibly, the bolded passage above is correct. The Sisters detailed the situation during their lawsuit against HHS:

One in three Americans are not covered by the mandate HHS is fighting so hard to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to follow. For instance, many large corporations like Exxon, Pepsi, and Visa are exempt because they never changed their healthcare plans, and HHS exempts their plans as “grandfathered.” Likewise, the U.S. Military is the largest single employer in the world, and its health plan for families of service members is also exempt from the mandate. And a number of cities such as New York City are exempt.

ObamacareHHSmandateExemptions2016

The Sisters estimate that “almost 100 million Americans don’t have plans that must comply with the mandate.”

Eight states — California (leading a five-state coalition including Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia), Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington — can’t handle the idea that the Sisters won their Supreme Court case.

Perkins outlined what happened from there:

  • In May 2017, “President Trump … issued an executive order protecting religious freedom and specifically mentioning the need to protect these faith-based groups from the unfair HHS mandate.”
  • In October, HHS ”issu(ed) new rules exempting the Little Sisters and others from the mandate …”
  • “Liberal, anti-faith state officials intent on political grandstanding have sued the Trump administration over these new rules.”

These states’ attorneys general, in Perkins’ words, are determined to “force those with moral and conscience objections to violate their deeply held beliefs.” It certainly helps the states’ causes — and the political careers of the posturing attorneys general — that almost no one knows that they are still trying to force a group of Catholic nuns who take vows of poverty to comply with mandates from which multibillion-dollar corporations remain exempt.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

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