Many Jewish groups criticized the Trump administration’s decision last week to allow more entities to deny offering contraception in their health care plans on religious grounds—but Orthodox Jewish groups are praising the move.
The Orthodox Union issued a statement on Monday welcoming the memorandum from the Department of Health and Human Services, which undid some Obama-era regulations.
“The new regulations are good news for all Americans,” said O.U. president Mark (Moshe) Bane. “Religious freedom is a fundamental right for all, so when it is threatened for some, it is threatened for all.”
“The Trump Administration’s decision to expand the conscience exemptions in the Affordable Care Act is consistent with the long-standing American tradition of trying to avoid infringements upon religion as much as possible,” added the group’s executive director for public policy, Nathan Diament. “The Obama Administration’s refusal to utilize other methods to ensure women’s access to certain healthcare services ignored this sensible approach and stoked unnecessary controversy. The new guidance is a return to the proper balance of valuable concerns.”
The Coalition for Jewish Values, another Orthodox group, took issue with liberal Jewish groups who were quick to denounce the Trump administration’s directive, saying these organizations “speak of tolerance yet fail to acknowledge the sincere values, beliefs and practices of those with whom they disagree.”
The group also endorsed a House legislation which would make it illegal to perform abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Orthodox Praise Anti-Contraceptive Move, Abortion Limit