Statement from NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump Administration is shredding every Obama-era equal rights protection it can find—but they’re especially fierce when it comes to promoting evangelical extremism. Our democracy depends on a secular government that doesn’t elevate any single religion, maintains the separation between church and state and protects our freedom from religious-based oppression and discrimination.
New rules advanced by nine federal agencies rescind the Obama executive order that required faith-based providers to notify beneficiaries of their religious nature and their right to get the same services elsewhere. This move would open the door to even more federal largesse to Christian groups hand-picked by Mike Pence and Donald Trump.
After the Supreme Court ruled in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case that a private, religiously oriented company could obtain a religious exemption from the contraceptive mandate, the Trump Administration now wants to go even farther—allowing even publicly held companies to suddenly “get religion” as an excuse to deny women health care.
Religion has been routinely used to justify and enforce some of society’s most hurtful and egregious failures, from slavery in the United States, segregation in the Deep South, treating women as if they are property owned by men, and ongoing discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people today.
NOW opposes these latest attempts to further exclude, subjugate, and discriminate against women on the basis of faith to what are essentially faithless beliefs.
Kimberly Hayes, Press Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-570-4745