Last week, the Trump administration issued new rules that affect health coverage for women across the U.S. More employers can now opt out of providing health plans that cover birth control. This would expand the exemption that was previously established under Obamacare allowing organizations to opt-out of coverage for religious reasons. The new rules would allow employers to not offer contraception coverage for “moral” rather than religious reasons.
Planned Parenthood said most women use birth control and coverage shouldn’t be controversial. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said the rules would hurt patients, stating:
“Contraception is a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives. It improves the health of women, children and families as well as communities overall; reduces maternal mortality; and enhances economic stability for women and their families.”
This is a great injustice for women as it forces many to pay out-of-pocket for contraception that can prevent unwanted pregnancies. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in a federal court to oppose the new rules. There has also been opposition from several state attorney generals that said they would take legal action to block the rules.
It’s hard to know exactly how many women will be impacted by these new rules, but there are currently about 200 employers that were involved in suing the government over the Obamacare requirement to provide contraception coverage. These companies would likely take advantage of opting out of coverage, immediately affecting about 120,000 women.