God bless President Donald J. Trump. As reported by several news outlets, the Trump Administration is set to finally put an end to part of the repugnant ObamaCare contraception mandate which sought to force the Little Sisters of the Poor (LSP) to violate their religious convictions.
One of the most bizarre things about the Obama Administration’s ObamaCare crusade was this insistence that groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor be forced to participate in the process of providing contraception and abortifacients for their employees, regardless of their religious beliefs. Not only was the policy unconstitutional, as a violation of religious liberty, but it was just so unnecessary.
The whole time the organization I lead, Concerned Women for America (CWA), is working to stand for these poor nuns — who, by the way, take vows of poverty and chastity, and dedicate their lives to serving the elderly, the maligned, and those forgotten by society — I’m thinking President Obama will soon provide a way for them to be exempt and go about their noble work.
But no. It never happened. Abortion groups have such a tight grip on the Democratic Party, they were willing to drag the sisters all the way to the United States Supreme Court before they would recognize their constitutional rights. Ridiculous.
So, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision forcing the Obama Administration to “arrive at an approach going forward that accommodates [the LSP’s] religious exercise while at the same time ensuring that women covered petitioners’ health plans ‘receive full and equal health coverage, including contraceptive coverage.’”
It was a no-brainer case; that’s why it was unanimous. The accommodation should have happened from the beginning. But it didn’t. Even after the decision, as you can see by the news reports now, the government continued to drag its feet, unwilling to set the sisters free. It is a mark of shame on President Obama’s legacy that he left office without relieving the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Enter President Trump. I know the liberal aristocracy would never credit him with anything positive, but the reality is that this president has been meticulous and deliberate in following through with his campaign promise to correct the religious liberties abuses we had seen under the Obama Administration.
A few weeks back, when the Department of Justice asked for an extension on the LSP case, there were reports expressing concerns about it. But we at Concerned Women for America felt confident the issue would be addressed. Not only have we heard from the Trump Administration on its proactive work to correct religious liberties abuses, but we have seen President Trump affirm that commitment in many ways, like the appointment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
We were right. A leaked draft regulation shows President Trump is set to expand the exceptions to the contraception mandate in a way that will finally end the ridiculous war against the Little Sisters of the Poor and similar groups.
In fact, the draft regulations will cover any organization with religious objections. This is good. This is appropriate. These sorts of accommodations are consistent with America’s founding principles and with constitutional requirements.
We commend the president for his thoughtfulness in dealing with such a sensitive issue. This language indeed follows through on what the Supreme Court was looking for, a way to accommodate religious beliefs while still providing the coverage for the women that want to use these drugs.
No woman will suffer because of the government’s accommodation of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Don’t believe the liberal media hysteria. As seen in the recent Kathy Griffin fiasco, something has snapped in the liberal psyche, and they will irrationally attack anything and everything even remotely associated with President Trump. Not to even mention their radicalism on abortion.
Expect the worst from them. But President Trump is right on this.
There is much work to be done to protect religious liberty, to be sure. The work is not done. But religious liberty proponents all around the country should appreciate that we have a friend in the Oval Office. That makes a world of difference.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America and author of the book Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women. Concerned Women for America is our nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, with 500,000 participating members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders, and over 30 years of service to our nation. For more information, please visit www.concernedwomen.org.