Written by Don Byrd

Yesterday, the Trump Administration issued final rules that expand exemptions for entities with objections of conscience to providing health insurance that covers contraception. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance policies are generally required to provide free contraception, a mandate that sparked a wave of court battles after its enactment.

Religion News Service’s Adelle Banks has more:

“The first of today’s final rules provides an exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities that object to services covered by the mandate on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs,” HHS said in a news release issued Wednesday (Nov. 7).

“The second final rule provides protections to nonprofit organizations and small businesses that have non-religious moral convictions opposing services covered by the mandate.”

The rules, first proposed as interim regulations a year ago, are already the subject of multiple court challenges. The Washington Post notes:

Two lawsuits by attorneys general prompted federal judges in California and Pennsylvania to grant nationwide injunctions against the proposals, while the administration has prevailed in another case. They now are all before appellate courts.

The final rules go into effect 60 days after being published in the Federal Register, according to the RNS report.