Mike Pence said the government 'will never, ever penalise anyone for their religious beliefs' and it goes without saying that people are outraged.
The vice president made the statement before Donald Trump announced a sweeping new 'religious liberty' rule for healthcare providers at the National Day of Prayer breakfast on Thursday.
The 440-page rule stipulates that health providers, employers and insurers have the right to refuse to pay for services such as abortion, sterilisation or assisted suicide if it goes against their religious beliefs, reports the Washington Post.
Speaking before the unveiling, Mike Pence said:
From early in this administration, President Trump has taken steps to ensure that the federal government will never, ever penalize anyone for their religious beliefs ever again.
First, Trump is proposing an executive branch rule, that can be discarded or replaced by the next president, so to claim that the federal government will 'never, ever' penalise anyone again is a bit steep, reports The Week.
However, the biggest problem with this is that literally one of the first things the administration did when it gained power was to effectively enable a 'Muslim ban', in the form of Executive Order 13769.
The Executive Order was billed as a way to protect the United States from terrorism but was actually a ban against travellers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, including Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
People on social media were quick to call him out for his barefaced hypocrisy.
I mean, you know, except for that thing where he banned an entire religion from entering the country. https://t.co/KUvGK3kkMG