On October 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service issued two Interim Final Regulations (IFRs) providing a broad religious and moral exemption from the mandate requiring health plans to cover contraceptives (including those that are abortifacient) and sterilization procedures. The rules are effective immediately.
In a statement hailing the HHS action, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB, and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, called the new regulations “a return to common sense, long-standing federal practice, and peaceful coexistence between church and state. It corrects an anomalous failure by federal regulators that should never have occurred and should never be repeated.”
"These regulations are good news for the Little Sisters of the Poor and others who are challenging the HHS mandate in court. We urge the government to take the next logical step and promptly resolve the litigation that the Supreme Court has urged the parties to settle.”
For the text of the full USCCB Statement see: http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-180z.cfm.