The Trump administration has taken direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 360,000 Oregon women
The Trump administration has taken direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 360,000 Oregon women, eliminating the guarantee they had for coverage for birth control regardless of who they work for. This morning they announced a sweeping new rule to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all insurance plans must cover birth control without a co-pay or otherwise ensure access to birth control coverage for women whose employers or schools can legally opt out of providing coverage.
Statement from Lisa Gardner, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon:
“Oregonians reject this unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on. We are so grateful that Governor Kate Brown recently signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which protects no-cost coverage for contraception in Oregon statute. We will do everything in our power to enforce this landmark law and to stop Donald Trump from rolling back the progress women have made over the past century.”
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control. We’re talking about a fundamental right – to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children.
“Birth control is not controversial – it’s health care the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime. Two million women rely on Planned Parenthood health centers each year for birth control. Nine out of 10 women of reproductive age will use birth control in their lifetime. This administration is carrying out a full-scale attack on birth control – eliminating insurance coverage for birth control, eliminating programs that help women with low incomes access birth control and moving to prohibit healthcare providers from even giving women information about birth control or abortion.”
The Affordable Care Act includes a provision that includes birth control as preventive health care – requiring health insurance plans cover birth control without a co-pay. The Obama administration later worked out an accommodation allowing religious-affiliated employers and schools to refuse to cover birth control on religious grounds, while ensuring their employees would still have health coverage provided directly by the health insurance company.
The rule proposed by the Trump administration today would change that, allowing any employer (nonprofit, small business, large corporation, private or publicly held), school or other entity to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage for religious or moral reasons – a standard unprecedented in its vagueness. It also eliminates the guarantee that women will continue to receive coverage for birth control regardless of their employer’s beliefs by making the accommodation voluntary.
The rule is peppered with anti-contraception language, making its real purpose clear. For example, the rule rejects the notion that there is a connection between coverage for birth control and reducing unintended pregnancy.
The rule will go into effect immediately, with a comment period ending on December 5.