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Trump Administration to Religious Ministries: No More Penalties for Following Your Faith

Leaked interim final rule should end multi-year lawsuits by religious ministries seeking relief from Obamacare contraceptive mandate

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May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017—After litigating for nearly three years, First Liberty Institute’s religious ministry clients look to receive relief from the crippling penalties imposed by the HHS contraceptive mandate found in “Obamacare,” thanks to new administrative rules drafted by the Trump administration to protect the conscience of religious ministries nationwide and leaked earlier today.

“The Trump administration has clearly announced its intent to adopt an important new policy for religious ministries across the country: the government will no longer force a religious ministry to violate their faith or face a government penalty,” Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel of First Liberty Institute says. “Our clients are delighted to see their religious liberty potentially restored and to be freed to pursue their mission without the threat of punishment by their government hanging over their heads.”

First Liberty Institute represents multiple religious ministries across the country seeking relief from Obamacare’s so-called “contraceptive mandate.” As a result of today’s leaked interim final rule, First Liberty’s clients—including retirement ministries like Shell Point Retirement Community and the Alliance Community for Retirement Living in Florida, Town and Country Manor in California, Chapel Pointe at Carlisle in Pennsylvania, and the denominational colleges of Simpson University in California and Crown College in Minnesota—look forward to having their religious liberty fully restored for the first time in well over three years.

The religious ministries first filed suit seeking relief from the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate in October of 2014 and have been waiting for resolution on appeal since the spring of 2015. Today’s leaked interim final rule should end these lawsuits since the ministries would be exempt under this rule.

When the new interim rule is adopted, all that will remain is for the courts to dismiss the government’s appeals and direct that final judgment be entered in favor of First Liberty’s clients.

To read more about First Liberty’s clients, go to FirstLiberty.org.

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About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Abigail Doty at adoty@firstliberty.org or by calling 469-440-7598 (office) or 469-237-9102 (cell).

To download this press release, click here.

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