(Washington, D.C.) Today, a draft of the Trump Administration’s plan to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit was leaked to the news media. If the final rule comports with the leaked draft, it would cause hundreds of thousands of women to lose access to no-cost birth control coverage. The leaked draft would:
- Expand the exemption that currently applies to churches and other houses of worship to include any kind of employer with either moral or religious objections. Women working for such employers would lose their guarantee of no-cost birth control coverage.
- Create an exemption for colleges and universities with religious or moral objections. Students would lose their guarantee of no-cost birth control coverage.
- Create an exemption for health insurance companies that hold religious or moral objections.
- Create an exemption for individuals with religious or moral objections, so that the individual can obtain a separate policy that does not cover contraception, if the health insurance issuer agrees to provide it.
- Change the current “accommodation” for certain religiously affiliated employers from mandatory to optional. If an organization chooses to revoke its use of the accommodation, women will lose their guarantee of no-cost birth control coverage.
The following is a statement by Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the National Women’s Law Center:
“Hundreds of thousands of women could lose access to no-cost birth control coverage if this broad-based, appalling, and discriminatory rule is made final. Giving permission to employers and insurance companies for their religious or moral beliefs to override women’s access to basic health care, which is critical to their economic security, is a license to discriminate and an affront to all women. The Trump Administration should be ready for a fight if it takes away this essential coverage. If the rule is made final, we will file a lawsuit against it.”
The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women’s equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.