Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price says President Donald Trump’s executive order on religious liberty directs his office to “reexamine” the Obama administration’s contraception mandate as part of essential preventive health insurance services.
Following the president’s signing of his executive order, Price released the following statement:
Religious liberty is our country’s first freedom. Americans of faith play a vital role in caring for our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and the poor.
We welcome today’s executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to reexamine the previous administration’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate, and commend President Trump for taking a strong stand for religious liberty.
We will be taking action in short order to follow the President’s instruction to safeguard the deeply held religious beliefs of Americans who provide health insurance to their employees.
The contraceptive mandate is an administrative rule created by the Obama administration that inserted employers into the sexual habits of their employees by requiring them to provide free birth control, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization procedures to their workers through health insurance plans. With that rule, contraception became an essential preventive service.
The Obama administration continually waged battles against religious groups and employers who asserted the mandate was not in keeping with their faith beliefs or conscience. On several occasions, the Obama administration contrived what it referred to as “accommodations” to the groups who objected to the mandate, but these mechanisms still required employers to facilitate providing these services to employees via other means.
Planned Parenthood – which benefits from health insurance and government reimbursement for contraceptive methods – condemned Trump’s executive order.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) May 4, 2017