OPINION | Why is HHS contraception order still standing? Trump said it ‘would soon be over’

CARDINAL DANIEL N. DINARDO, The Hill

After meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office on May 4, I sat in the Rose Garden and listened as the president promised the Little Sisters of the Poor that their “long ordeal” with the government’s contraceptive mandate “would soon be over.” Yet here we are, nearly three months later, and the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate still stands.

For four years, the Little Sisters and many other faith-based nonprofit groups have patiently asked the government to do the right thing and let them serve the poor. In a pluralistic society like ours, people should be free to serve the common good without compromising their moral or religious convictions. The HHS mandate, requiring employers to cover contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, has tested this country’s commitment to a healthy pluralism.

President Trump asked some of the Little Sisters to stand next to him on May 4 while he signed an executive order “promoting free speech and religious liberty,” and he promised that “we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty.”

The HHS mandate tries to force faith-based employers — including religious charities, schools and pro-life advocacy organizations such as the March for Life — to facilitate the coverage of drugs and devices that go against our moral mandate to respect the dignity of every human person, born and unborn. If a solution is not reached, these nonprofit organizations could face millions of dollars in fines from the federal government for non-compliance with the HHS mandate.