Biden vows to overturn HHS conscience protections for Little Sisters, Hobby Lobby if elected president

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks during a campaign event on January 3, 2020, in Independence, Iowa. Biden spoke about foreign policy and domestic issues. |

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would overturn religious conscience protections for nonprofits and businesses opposed to the Health and Human Services' contraceptive coverage mandate if elected president.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 7-2 that the Trump administration could broaden a religious exemption to the HHS mandate, protecting the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The decision affirmed a 2017 Trump administration order broadening the religious exemption to the mandate on contraception coverage to include groups like the Little Sisters.  

“… the plain language of the statute clearly allows the Departments to create the preventive care standards as well as the religious and moral exemptions,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas for the majority.

In a statement emailed out to supporters, the Democratic presidential nominee denounced the Supreme Court's decision as an attack on women’s healthcare.

“Health care is a right that should not be dependent on race, gender, income or zip code. Yet as a result of today's decision, countless women are at risk of losing access to affordable, preventive care,” stated Biden.

“I am disappointed in today's U.S. Supreme Court decision that will make it easier for the Trump-Pence Administration to continue to strip health care from women – attempting to carve out broad exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s commitment to giving all women free access to recommended contraception.”

In the campaign email, Biden went on to promise to overturn the religious exemption the Trump administration put in place, turning the clock back before the Supreme Court ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which provided an exemption for closely-held businesses.

“If I am elected, I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions,” continued Biden.

“The accommodation will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator.”

CatholicVote President Brian Burch denounced Biden's comments, telling that, if elected, Biden would “mistreat and marginalize Catholics.”

“From his support for taxpayer-funded pro-abortion extremism, to his pledge to continue to harass the Little Sisters of the Poor, Biden will be a wrecking ball against all things that Catholics hold dear,” said Burch.

“All Catholics in America must speak out forcefully against these threats, lest the Catholic Church in America be trampled.”

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