EPPC Scholars and Others Submit Comments Opposing Contraceptive Mandate Proposed Rule

April 3, 2023

On April 3, 2023, EPPC scholars Rachel N. Morrison, Eric Kniffin and Natalie Dodson submitted a public comment opposing the Proposed Rule, “Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act,” involving the contraceptive mandate for certain health insurance plans. 

The proposal by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor would maintain the current religious exemption, create a new “individual contractive arrangement” to pay third-party providers to provide contraceptive services, and revoke the moral exemption for those that object to contraceptive coverage based on non-religious moral beliefs. 

The EPPC scholars argued in their comment, 

The Departments fail to establish a need for the Proposed Rule. Despite many introduced bills, Congress has never directed the Departments to impose a contraceptive mandate. Nevertheless, the Departments claim that they have a compelling interest in providing seamless access to contraceptive services. Yet they fail to identify a single woman who is unable to obtain access to contraception because of the religious and moral exemptions…. The proposed revocation of the moral exemption is gratuitous and un-American. 

Regarding the individual contraceptive arrangement, the comment explained that the Departments’ proposal “would funnel taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.” The scholars urged the Departments to abandon and withdraw the Proposed Rule. 

A diverse group of religious, medical, legal, and policy organizations and experts also submitted comments opposing the Proposed Rule. 

About the EPPC comment signers: 

Rachel N. Morrison, J.D., is an EPPC Fellow, director of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project, and former attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Eric Kniffin, J.D., is an EPPC Fellow, member of the HHS Accountability Project, and a former attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. 

Natalie Dodson is a Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Associate and member of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project

Other organizations submitting comments on the proposed rule include: 

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