Posted on May 4, 2017

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Trump Administration signed an Executive Order that sanctions discrimination against women under the guise of protecting religious liberty. It would allow bosses to take away critical coverage of preventive services – like birth control – because of their religious beliefs.

Recent polling by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) shows a strong majority of U.S. voters oppose allowing individuals and institutions to deny women coverage of birth control and other reproductive health services because of their religious or moral beliefs.  For example, the poll found that 73 percent of U.S. voters oppose insurance companies refusing to cover a woman’s abortion, birth control, or medical care for a miscarriage because of religious or moral beliefs.

Later today, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions like sexual assault survivors and eliminating the ACA’s nationwide guarantee of vital services like maternity coverage, prescription drug coverage, and mental health coverage. It would permit insurers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on insurance coverage and block people from getting preventive health care such as birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment, at trusted Planned Parenthood health centers. The bill also would radically change the Medicaid program in ways that will take essential health coverage away from women; penalize women seeking insurance coverage that includes abortion, and force married women to file joint tax returns if they want a tax credit to pay for health insurance, even in cases of domestic violence or other dangerous circumstances.

The following is a statement by Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at NWLC:

“Today, President Trump launched an all-out assault on women’s health. This Executive Order is not about religious freedom – it is a license to discriminate, plain and simple. Letting bosses take away coverage of critical women’s preventive services like birth control is unfair, discriminatory, and unpopular. We know from the countless calls we receive from women that they depend on the birth control benefit for their well-being and economic security.

“The House vote on repealing the ACA is the next down-payment on Republican promises to attack women’s health care. The replacement bill is a hollow promise to women and their families that would dramatically decrease access to affordable, high-quality coverage and increase costs and inequality. We will fight to protect a woman’s access to birth control no matter where she works, and we will not back away from fighting this Administration’s insistence on pushing its hateful agenda to the detriment of the country.”

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 For immediate release: May 4, 2017
Contact:  Maria Patrick (mpatrick@nwlc.org) or Olympia Feil (ofeil@nwlc.org), 202-588-5180

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.

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