- Mar 6, 2021
Part one of Crux’s look back at life in the U.S. Church during 2017.
The Little Sisters of the Poor have been in the spotlight for the past several years because of their moral objection to the Department of Health and Human Services requirement that most religious employers cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plan.
The Little Sisters of the Poor, who have always been known for their care for the poor elderly, have been in the spotlight for the past six years with their objection to the federal government’s requirement that they provide insurance coverage of contraceptives for their employees. Days after the rule was issued, Pennsylvania and California filed complaints against the federal government over the exemption. Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia joined California’s lawsuit to become the first plaintiff group to file a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent the new exemption rule from going into effect.
The Trump administration announced an interim rule on Friday that would provide greater religious exemptions to the federal contraceptive mandate. While groups affected by the mandate will still have to seek formal relief in court, advocates for religious freedom are hailing today’s announcement as a significant victory.
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she was unsure whether President Trump is aware of complaints that his executive order on religious liberty is being ignored, especially on controversial contraception mandates. An official of a religious liberty law firm welcomed the statement, saying, “That would explain why [Trump’s] Department of Justice is not matching his words.”
The Catholic Benefits Association based in Castle Rock, Colorado has filed a motion to get the government to drop its appeal of the Health and Human Services mandate to make insurers cover contraception. They are hoping under a Trump administration for a quick resolution, but it’s not clear they will get it.
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, a former president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, discusses the impetus behind the convocation happening now in Orlando as well as the recent Supreme Court decision concerning religious freedom.