EPPC Scholars Meet with Federal Officials to Oppose Changes to Religious and Moral Exemptions to the Contraceptive Mandate

Published August 2, 2022

On Tuesday, August 2, 2022, EPPC Fellow Rachel N. Morrison and Senior Fellow Roger Severino met with federal government officials to oppose an upcoming rule that will propose changes to the religious and moral exemptions to the contraceptive mandate under Affordable Care Act regulations. The proposal is made by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury.

Among other points, EPPC scholars made the following arguments:

  • The agencies must identify a need for making changes to the existing religious and moral exemptions and show how the proposed changes would meet that need.
  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Supreme Court caselaw require a meaningful religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate.
  • Any new religious or moral exemption process should include HHS’s Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.
  • The agencies should keep moral exemptions to the contraceptive mandate consistent with the American tradition of respecting conscience rights in health care.

A written version of those comments, submitted to the government, is available here.

Rachel N. Morrison is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she directs EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. An attorney, her legal and policy work focuses on religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights.

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