From cutting programs as well as funding for organizations, Republicans at the state and federal levels have been working overtime to curtail access to birth control. In the latest installment, the Trump administration announced it would roll back the birth control coverage mandate from the Affordable Care Act. This act will allow employers to make religious or moral objection claims for providing said coverage.
The new rule will go into effect immediately. “The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,” the administration wrote in new rules.
According to Politico, women’s health care groups have already begun preparations to file lawsuits to block the new rules, which came on the same day that Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlined broad religious freedom protections that could affect a number of domestic policies.
“Today’s outrageous rules by the Trump Administration show callous disregard for women’s rights, health, and autonomy,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “By taking away women’s access to no-cost birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women. We will take immediate legal steps to block these unfair and discriminatory rules.”
The Obama-era mandate was popular, if polling data is to be believed. It’s estimated that U.S. women saved over $1 billion because of the mandate with 55 million women benefiting from no-cost birth control.