The Trump administration has turned on its evangelical supporters once again, this time refusing to back down from a fight between religious groups and the Justice Department over the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
While the President remains sure that the ACA will shortly be repealed and replaced, in the meantime, the Justice Department under Trump has indicated that they will continue to pursue cases against religious groups which are fighting the mandate under religious grounds.
While there exists some exemptions for the mandate on birth control, it does not extend to these organizations. Though these orgs are given the option to outsource their birth control coverage to a third party, many had expected Trump to side with them completely, as he promised.
During the election, removing the birth control mandate was one of many promises that Trump made on the campaign trail in an attempt to win over the religious right.
While performing a rare reach-out to religious groups, a vital part of his campaign considering how a-religious he appeared throughout his career in the private sector, Trump wrote a letter to the Catholic Leadership Conference. In that letter, Trump mentioned one of the religious groups now seeking exemptions for the birth control mandate.
“I will make absolutely certain religious orders like The Little Sisters of the Poor are not bullied by the federal government because of their religious beliefs.”
But the Little Sisters of the Poor and many others are now very unhappy with President Trump, having expected their grievances to be addressed and the mandate long struck down.
Even now, the Justice Department under Trump’s administration refuses to drop an appeal of a district court ruling in favor of East Texas Baptist University and other plaintiffs represented by the nonprofit law firm Becket.
One of the few reliable things about President Trump is his complete betrayal of his own word. It appears that the ever-loyal religious right is learning this lesson the hard way as the Justice Department under their chosen President refuses to bow to their religious pressure.