Published 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.
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.