WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 2017). Today, the Trump Administration released a rule which allows any employer, school, or other entity with not only a religious objection, but also a moral objection, to covering contraceptives in their health insurance plans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that all insurance plans provide contraceptives at no out-of-pocket cost to consumers. But, earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed a vague executive order giving “regulatory relief” to companies who object to the contraceptive mandate.
Diluting the contraceptive coverage mandate is the latest attack on women’s reproductive health despite its success in providing millions of women with access to contraceptives at no cost to them. Nearly nine in ten women of reproductive age will use birth control in her lifetime. Not only do contraceptives allow for women to plan for their pregnancies, but it also reduces the risk for ovarian cancer and treat conditions like uterine fibroids and heavy menstrual bleeding. In 2013 alone, women across the country reportedly saved $1.4 billion dollars in contraceptive costs as a result of the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate.
“It is unacceptable that this administration continues to target women’s reproductive health under the guise of religious and moral freedom,” said Linda Goler Blount, president and CEO of the Black Women’s Health Imperative. “Contraceptive care is basic health care and should be treated like any other preventative medical care. Black women thrive physically, emotionally, and economically when they have control over their reproductive health. Yet, they have historically been denied access to reproductive health care, which has resulted in higher rates of unintended pregnancies, abortions, lost educational and financial opportunities, poverty and, in some instances, loss of life. This administration fails to the see the link between women being able to access comprehensive reproductive health care and financial and economic stability. It is clear that this rule is another attempt to undermine the ACA by restricting women’s access to affordable birth control. If this administration refuses to protect women’s health, then the Congress and the states need to ensure their constituents—women and men—are able to access the care they deserve and need to live healthy and productive lives.”