Now, employers can object to covering contraception
Trump’s administration just took away affordable birth control from thousands of women. On Friday, the White House issued a new mandate that allows employers to opt out of including birth control in their health insurance plans for any moral or religious reason.
It’s the latest in a series of moves to undermine the Obamacare mandate requiring that birth control be covered with no co-pay as a preventive essential health benefit. According to the National Women’s Law Center, over 55 million US women have birth control coverage with zero out-of-pocket costs.
Dr. Anne Davis, consulting medical director of Physicians for Reproductive Health, called Friday’s rollback part of a “disturbing trend” in the Trump administration.
“Contraception is an essential component of health care. It not only allows women to plan and space their pregnancies in a way that is best for their health and their families, but also helps manage a variety of health conditions,” Dr. Anne Davis, consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Insurance coverage must include birth control so that women can choose the method that meets their needs and have access to it consistently.”
The National Women’s Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group, has been preparing a lawsuit since last spring after the Trump administration announced it was intending to roll back the contraception coverage mandate. The birth control mandate is one of eight preventive health benefits for women that Obama’s Affordable Care Act mandated — others included breastfeeding equipment, domestic violence screenings, and HPV testing.
Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center talked to Huffington Post about the rollback.
“I think what the Trump administration is trying to do is effectively gut the rule without repealing it because repealing it would be so unpopular,” said Borchelt. “They’re taking contraception coverage away from women without justification.”