The Supreme Court on Friday announced it will hear two cases on whether employer health plans should be allowed religious and moral exemptions from the Affordable Care Act's requirement to cover birth control.
The Trump administration in November 2018 issued final rules to allow more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control, but federal judges have stopped the rules from taking effect.
The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in May that the rules would "impose an undue burden" on female employees who would lose coverage under their employer plans.
The attorneys general of New Jersey and Pennsylvania challenged the rules, and the Trump administration and the Catholic charity Little Sisters of the Poor defended them.
The Trump administration's conscience-based objection rules for contraception coverage requirements are only one instance in a series of regulations HHS has advanced to protect religious groups. One rule proposed Thursday would reverse an Obama administration policy so faith-based health and social service providers receiving federal funds no longer would have to inform clients about services they don't provide for religious reasons and would not have to refer them to alternative providers.