Rev. Franklin Graham.
In reaction to news that the Trump administration still has not kept its promise to protect religious liberrty by ending the Obamacare mandate on abortifacients, contraception, and sterilization, and is still fighting Christian groups in the courts over the issue, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said, "Christians across this country are going to hold [Trump] to his word."
In an April 25 post on Facebook, accompanied by a Washington Post article headlined "Trump defends birth-control requirement under Obamacare," Reverend Graham wrote, "President Donald J. Trump promised during the election that he would protect religious liberty, and I know that Christians across this country are going to hold him to his word."
"I hope he will act quickly to protect Christian ministries and organizations from being forced by the Obamacare mandate to provide abortifacients and birth control which goes against the religious beliefs of many," said Rev. Graham.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, also called on President Trump to keep his campaign promise to defend religious liberty and rescind the Obamacare mandate, which is a regulation issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The HHS rule requires nearly all health insurance companies to offer coverage, without co-payments, for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptive devices, and sterilization procedures.
Christian and other organizations that see such services as violating their religious beliefs have objected, sought exemptions, and taken their religious liberty pleas to the courts.
Some of these groups include the Little Sisters of the Poor, Hobby Lobby, Liberty University, American Family Association, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Triune Health Group, Tyndale House, Domino's Farms Corproation, Freshway Foods, Cherry Creek Mortgage Company, Beckwith Electric, Association of Christian Schools International, Wheaton College, Colorado Christian University, and many other entities.
"The majority of Catholics voted for Donald Trump, and many did so because he identified himself as pro-life and ran against a candidate who justified partial-birth abortion," said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. "He also said he would rescind the HHS mandate that makes Catholic non-profits complicit in providing for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception in their healthcare plans. Now his Justice Department is balking on this issue."
President Donald Trump. (Screenshot: CSPAN)
"Trump officials say the delay is necessary because many staff positions have not yet been filled, and the issues involved are 'complex.'" said Donohue. "But that hasn’t stopped the Justice Department from settling other lawsuits. Moreover, this business about the mandate being 'complex' is a dodge: either the mandate is an affront to religious liberty or it is not."
Donohue continued, "In sharp contrast to his predecessor, Trump has shown himself to be religion-friendly. He needs to recognize, however, that the HHS mandate is a non-negotiable issue: If he wants to keep the support of Catholics, the HHS mandate must go."
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. (Screenshot.)