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Executive Order Intended to Ease Religious-Based Objections to Women?ÇÖs Contraceptive Services

On April 17, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order (the ?Ç£EO?Ç¥) that includes a request to the Secretaries of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider amending regulations related to a plan sponsor?ÇÖs ability to make a conscience-based objection to, and opt out of, complying with the preventive services mandate under the Affordable Care Act (the ?Ç£ACA?Ç¥). Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must generally provide coverage for specified preventive services, including women?ÇÖs contraceptive services. Although the EO broadly indicates the entire ACA preventive services mandate, the context of the order suggests the focus is on women?ÇÖs contraceptive services. Religious employers, narrowly defined as houses of worship, are currently exempt from the requirement to cover women?ÇÖs contraceptive services, but there is no exemption for non-profit religiously affiliated employers or any for-profit organization. The EO appears to request the agencies make it easier for religiously-affiliated employers to opt out of providing women?ÇÖs contraceptive services. View the?áExecutive Order.

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May 2017