New conscience exemptions issued for contraceptive mandate

HHS: Entities that have sincerely held religious beliefs against providing contraceptive services would be exempt from the mandate

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released two updated rules concerning conscience protections for organizations and individuals in relation to the HHS contraception mandate. Under the new rules, organizations and individuals objecting to the controversial mandate’s provisions on either religious or moral grounds will be exempt. According to a … [Read more...]

Catholic employers win injunction against contraception mandate

Federal judge rules in favor of the Catholic Benefits Association, which represents more than 1,000 Catholic employers

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Catholic Benefits Association last week, issuing a permanent injunction and declaratory relief against the Department of Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate.This means that organizations belonging to the CBA do not have to provide coverage of drugs, the use of which they believe to be immoral, as dictated by the mandate. The … [Read more...]

Trump administration plans to eliminate contraceptive mandate for religious institutions

No more bullying by the federal government

Federal officials, following through on a pledge by President Trump, have drafted a rule to roll back a federal requirement that many religious employers provide birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The mandate for free contraceptive coverage was one of the most hotly contested Obama administration policies adopted under the Affordable Care Act, and it generated … [Read more...]

Trump administration won’t drop contraceptive mandate appeal

Instead of withdrawing government's case, Justice Department asks federal appeals court for 60 extra days to negotiate an agreement with plaintiffs

With President Donald Trump’s administration signaling that it is not dropping the HHS mandate cases against religious non-profits, plaintiffs are concerned that the action does not reflect promises made during the presidential campaign. “The government has a chance to do the right thing here. It got it wrong for five years in these cases, almost six years,” said Eric … [Read more...]

Pope Francis makes surprise stop at Little Sisters of the Poor

Purpose of visit was to show support for them in court case over contraception mandate

The following comes from a September 23 Catholic News Agency article by Matt Hadro: Pope Francis paid a short visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor community in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to support them in their court case over the contraception mandate, the Vatican's spokesman revealed. It was a “short visit that was not in the program,” Father Federico Lombardi, … [Read more...]

Little Sisters get temporary relief from contraception mandate

Supreme Court mulls taking their case

The following comes from an August 21 Catholic News Agency article: The Little Sisters of the Poor have received temporary protection from the federal contraception mandate until the Supreme Court decides whether or not it will hear their case. On August 21, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Little Sisters will not be subject the mandate’s requirements or … [Read more...]

Not exactly an accommodation

Controversial HHS mandate modification still violates religious freedom

The following comes from a July 10 Catholic News Agency article by Matt Hadro: In its latest update to the federal contraception mandate, the Obama administration on Friday finalized a set of proposed rules which the U.S. bishops have previously said still violate religious freedom. A statement released Friday by Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell … [Read more...]

Pope Francis exhorts Notre Dame

The following comes from a Jan. 30 story on Spero Forum. Pope Francis received members of the board of Notre Dame University on January 30. One of the most recognizable Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States, its winning football barnstorms the country and challenges big name institutions such as the University of Michigan and Stanford. Founded in … [Read more...]