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Trump guts Obamacare's contraceptive mandate
07 October 2017, 12:30 | Floyd Cook
Trump guts Obamacare's contraceptive mandate
The new policy on contraception, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, allows more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections - another step in rolling back President Barack Obama's health care law that required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost. This could impact numerous millions of women who now receive contraceptives at no cost under this provision.
The Obamacare provision required almost all employers to include a wide range of birth control methods in their healthcare plans, ensuring 55 million American women-according to the National Women's Law Center-had access to birth control and other preventive services without out-of-pocket costs. That rule will force women who work for those companies to pay for contraceptive pills and devices themselves. The CDC's 28-year longitudinal study (1980-2008) on unwanted pregnancies list a number of reasons given by women, but a lack of access to birth control doesn't even get a mention. The court ordered both sides into negotiations for dealing with the legitimate religious objections of nuns to birth control, but the new regulations will certainly cover their moral objections if not their religious beliefs.
The Trump administration says the new rules are motivated by "our desire to bring to a close the more than five years of litigation" over the contraceptive coverage mandate.
The National Women's Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group, has been preparing a lawsuit since last spring, when it learned that the Trump administration meant to rewrite the contraception coverage mandate.
Trump's refusal to take action that would actually help people is proof of what we've already known about this president and his administration: They would rather play political games than improve the lives of the American people. Real Alternatives lost a suit against the mandate at the Third Circuit Court in August, which ruled that their pro-life mission did not merit a religious exemption from the mandate. "In particular, people of color, low-income individuals, youth, immigrants, rural residents, and LGBTQ populations will be disproportionately impacted by this new federal restriction on reproductive health care".
Currently, more than 55 million women receive free contraception under the mandate, and the new rules could cause hundreds of thousands of women to lose access.
So the Trump administration's argument that regulating birth control would stop risky sexual behavior among adolescents spurred some outrage.
Experts have pointed out that many women use birth control methods for more than pregnancy prevention, including treatment of hormonal imbalances and endometriosis. All women should have the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions, especially when it comes to something as personal as contraception and reproductive health.
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