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Conscience Magazine

Catholic Leaders Respond to Draft HHS Rule

August 10, 2017

A Department of Health and Human Services draft rule would extend exemptions to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act to any employer that expresses a religious or moral objection to providing contraceptive services to its employees.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said of the draft rule, “Relief like this is years overdue and would be most welcomed.” He added that he would “look forward to the final version of the regulations with hope that they will remain strong.”

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston and president of the US Confer­ence of Catholic Bishops described the order as “begin[ning] the process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS [contra­ceptive] mandate.”

Under current law, houses of worship and closely held companies may be exempted from the contraceptive mandate by voicing a reli­gious objection.