Why some people are angrily comparing limiting contraceptive coverage to gun control

Saul Bowman
October 7, 2017

However, as the New York Times reports, the administration will propose a more incremental approach to its reversal by expanding the existing exemptions to include "moral convictions" as well as "religious beliefs".

"The Trump Administration's decision to reverse the federal requirement for employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception and abortion drugs and devices upholds the religious freedom for Little Sisters of the Poor, and many other nonprofit organizations, who can not and will not participate in killing innocent children", said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. The new law allows employers and insurers to cease from offering birth control "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs".

"Even if (federal religious freedom law) does not compel the religious exemptions provided in these interim final rules, the departments believe they are the most appropriate administrative response to the religious objections that have been raised", conclude officials from the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services. The American Civil Liberties Union filed such a lawsuit less than three hours after the rules were issued.

The new policy "could change, and it's subject to challenge", Rienzi said.

Millions of American women who had the cost of contraception reimbursed could be affected by the Trump administration's decision, which conservative groups had been seeking since Obamacare began. For instance, there are hundreds of Catholic hospitals, nursing homes and nonprofits that may want to stop providing contraceptives, said Tim Jost, emeritus professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Since contraception became a covered preventive benefit under Obamacare, the share of women employees in the US who pay their own money for birth control pills has plunged to under 4 percent from 21 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Publicly traded companies also could claim an exemption if they state religious objections. That rule will force women who work for those companies to pay for contraceptive pills and devices themselves. The White House also says that requiring the coverage of birth control might promote "risky sexual behavior" among teenagers and young adults, conveniently forgetting that studies have linked increased use of contraception to a decline in teen pregnancies.

"Donald Trump's latest dictate is a flawless execution of his passions: controlling women and robbing people of healthcare", said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue. Some of the cases reached the Supreme Court and were the object of nationwide attention, such as the Hobby Lobby ruling in 2014. The new rule, he said, provides "relief to those who have been under the thumb of the federal government".

"President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to undoing the anti-faith policies of the previous administration and restoring true religious freedom", said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

"Contraception is a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives", said Dr. Haywood Brown, president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"By taking away women's access to no-cost birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women", said Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women's Law Center. 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.

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