The US Department of Health and Human services has proposed new contraception mandate rules to better categorize “Religious employers,” after the department’s definition has not held up in court.
According to a fact sheet on the proposed ruling, the new rules would define “religious employers” according to the IRS definition of religious organizations. The stringent definition originally adopted would have prevented nearly any religious institution -- including charities, universities, and entire Catholic dioceses -- from qualifying for an exemption.
The proposed rules also appear to accommodate non profit religious organizations including “nonprofit institutions of higher education with religious objections to contraceptive coverage.”
There are no conscience exemptions, however, for private employers who have religious objections to the mandate.