ISSN 2330-717X

Trump Finalizes Conscience Rights – OpEd


When giving the Commencement Address at the University of Notre Dame in 2009, President Barack Obama said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause.” His administration never did. Worse, it sought to violate conscience rights of pro-life Americans.

When Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, he pledged to undo the damage that his predecessor did to conscience rights. Now he has made good on his promise. On November 7, his administration released final rules on conscience rights for Americans who object to paying for abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives in their insurance plans. They will take effect two months from now.

President Trump had to undo the Health and Human Services mandate established by the Obama administration. That provision sought to force organizations such as the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their conscience by paying for morally objectionable services in their health insurance plans.

Under the new rules, an exemption is being afforded “from the contraceptive coverage mandate to entities and individuals that object to services covered by the mandate on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.” The rules are inclusive of “nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and individuals that have non-religious moral convictions.”

Kudos to President Trump for affirming religious liberty and conscience rights.

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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