Trump just dealt a divisive blow to a Obama era mandate concerning birth control. Now employers will have the right to deny birth control coverage based on religious grounds, prompting criticism for several prominent groups advocating for women’s reproductive rights.
The decision, handed down by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services no longer demands the no co-pay requirement instruction for employers. Critics propose that the move could impact millions of women though a study by Health & Human services touts a severely lower number, alleging that only 120,000 women would be affected.
The new mandate would allow employers, including nonprofits, private firms and public traded companies, to halt offering contraceptives through health coverage if the employer finds “sincerely held religious or moral objection,” according to CNN‘s report. A second part of the mandate would allow employers to refuse coverage if they find any moral conviction, not particularly tied to religious beliefs.
Several organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women’s Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights spoke out against the administration’s decision. According to CNN, the ACLU plans to file a suit against the administration on Friday. These groups ascertain that birth control is not only aligned with pregnancy prevention, but also treats hormonal imbalances and severe conditions like endometriosis.
More than 55 million women in the U.S. have birth control with zero co-pay, according to the NWLC. The organization released a study in 2013, reporting that the Obama era mandate saved women $1.4 billion in birth control pill costs.
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