On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to defend religious freedom, and one way he intended to do that was by providing Americans protection from the Obamacare mandate that all employers pay for birth control regardless of the employers' deeply held religious and moral beliefs. Now, President Trump is upholding that promise.
"Application of the mandate to entities with sincerely held religious objections to it does not serve a compelling governmental interest," reads the new rules issued by the Trump administration. Forcing employers to cover birth control against their beliefs imposes a "substantial burden" on the exercise of free speech, the administration states.
The Affordable Care Act, the new administration argues, does not specifically require the coverage of contraception, and they disagree with the Obama administration's determination that such coverage is required under its broader goal of promoting women's health because the government "already engages in dozens of programs that subsidize contraception" for low-income women or those at risk for unintended pregnancy.
The change will also bring to a close to "more than five years of litigation” over the mandate, the administration explains.
The new rules include two new exemptions: one that allows an employer or insurer that objects to covering contraceptives "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs"; the other protects employers with "moral convictions" against covering them.
The two new rules, which are estimated to impact around "200 entities that have participated in about 50 lawsuits over birth control coverage," will go into effect when they are formally entered into the Federal Register, which could be as early as Friday.
In response, the various left-leaning mainstream outlets across the country are following script and portraying the move as an attack on women that threatens to strip them of their birth control.
The New York Times declares that Trump's new exemptions to the mandate are "sure to touch off a round of lawsuits." Citing a study commissioned by the Obama administration, the Times warns that "thousands of women could lose birth control benefits they now receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act."
CNN is also sounding the alarm, calling Trump's move a "major blow" to the birth control mandate and warning that the new exemptions could "open the door to hundreds of employers dropping coverage."
Though CNN acknowledges Health and Human Services' estimation that only around 200 entities will be impacted, with "99.9%" of women keeping their free birth control, the network dismisses that estimation, saying their experts warn that "this could open the door to hundreds of employers dropping coverage."
CNN makes sure to cite sources that back up their alarmist response, like Dr. Haywood L. Brown:
"HHS leaders under the current administration are focused on turning back the clock on women's health," Dr. Haywood L. Brown, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said in a statement. "Reducing access to contraceptive coverage threatens to reverse the tremendous progress our nation has made in recent years in lowering the unintended pregnancy rate."
The truth is, the contraceptive mandate, like Obamacare itself, is a massive government overreach that forced some religious Americans to fund things that violated their conscience. It never should have been imposed on Americans to begin with; providing exemptions is perfectly reasonable — which the disingenuous media knows full well, but will never admit.