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Trump Administration Changes Contraception Rules

by Countable | 10.6.17

What’s the story?

The Trump administration on Friday exempted businesses from having to cover birth control costs on health insurance plans if the employer has religious or moral objections. The new policy goes into effect immediately upon publication in the federal register, potentially affecting up to 55 million women.

Why does it matter?

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, requires that contraception be covered at no cost to women. The Obama administration considered it in the interest of the federal government to insure women access to birth control because of the extent to which women’s reproductive lives affect their health, the health of any future children they may have, as well as their ability to participate fully in the economy.

The Trump administration’s decision fulfills a campaign promise. It also will undoubtedly be challenged in the courts due to the inclusion of rules allowing exemption based on "moral objections" and not just religious convictions.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 does explicitly protect "religious liberty" and has been the basis for dozens of court challenges to the Obama-era mandate. The administration, however, acknowledges that the Act does not provide protections for “nonreligious, moral conscientious objections. The administration is trusting in congressional history, which includes support of conscience objections in other matters.

The new rules, according to the New York Times, were drafted primarily by Matthew Bowman, a top lawyer at the Department of Health and Human Services, who previously represented March for Life while working for Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian advocacy group.

What do you think?

Do you support the new rules or not? Do you think federal government support of women’s access to contraception is sound public health and economic policy or government overreach and an infringement on religious freedoms? Are you a woman that will be affected by this policy change? How will this change play out for you and what will you do as a result?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

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(Photo Credit: lookcatalog via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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Written by Countable

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(766)
  • Esther
    10/06/2017
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    Then they damn well better not pay for viagra or cialis!!!!!!

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  • Troy
    10/06/2017
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    Birth control IS essential care, but it's apparent that this administration doesn't care about women at all.

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  • Varonica
    10/06/2017
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    It is unacceptable to allow employers to opt out of paying for contraception. Abortion is not covered and not a desirable option for most so why would it be ok to not provide coverage for something that would prevent this type of situation. It shouldn’t be ok for employers to make this moral decision for their employees.

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  • Shalimarmandy
    10/06/2017
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    It is absolutely ridiculous that a person who happens to work for someone who has specific religious beliefs isn't given the same health care as everyone else. A business shouldn't be able to cut health care corners because it's owners' religious affiliations.

    Like (226)
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  • Erin
    10/06/2017
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    Contraception is an essential and basic health care need for women and ALL insurance plans should be required to pay for it because of its absolute importance to women's health and lives. These are rights that employees have, regardless of their employers religious beliefs. Please take a stand against the rolling back of these vital regulations!

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  • Avolaster
    10/06/2017
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    Yet again, a man is deciding what is best for women... 😒

    Like (124)
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  • Sandy
    10/06/2017
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    It is unacceptable to deny insurance coverage to women for any reason. Many women take birth control pills for health reasons other than contraception. An employer's religious beliefs should not factor into coverage decisions.

    Like (91)
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  • Bridget
    10/06/2017
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    This is ridiculous bullshit. Fix this please! We are tired of this administration and its anti women agenda!!!

    Like (89)
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  • Jacob
    10/06/2017
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    Another attack on Women's Rights by a group of old white guys. And one orange one.

    Like (85)
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  • Wynsum
    10/06/2017
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    For the umpteenth time, religious freedom does NOT mean that anyone (individual, employer, or government) can use their own beliefs to police the behavior of others. And especially in this case, exempting employers from covering contraception on health plans will SEVERELY impact the lives of women who use their contraception to treat serious health conditions completely separate from pregnancy. In the ongoing healthcare debate, I insist that my representatives and senators do everything and anything they can to ensure that women's healthcare is not desolated by antiquated and puritanical notions of sexuality and it's intersection with healthcare.

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  • Kent
    10/06/2017
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    It's against my religion to wage war, and I no longer want my tax dollars to go for military spending. So fix that!

    Like (61)
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  • Diana
    10/06/2017
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    Totally unacceptable! Women are being treated as second class citizens. When is the coverage for Viagra which has no medical purpose going to be revoked!?

    Like (41)
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  • Pamela jean
    10/06/2017
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    What exactly is his problem And this better include his wife and daughter. Ladies get ready to storm the castle

    Like (40)
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  • Susan
    10/06/2017
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    My body. My decisions. Stay out of it government. !!!!!!!!!

    Like (39)
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  • lauramichielli
    10/06/2017
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    As usual, this would not be the case if men were the ones who got pregnant!

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  • Afina
    10/06/2017
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    Contraception is basic health care! We need universal healthcare

    Like (33)
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  • Elizabeth
    10/06/2017
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    This is outrageous. This is a war on women and their bodies not religious freedom. Please act AGAINST this bill.

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  • Deirdre
    10/06/2017
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    Welcome to the caveman days! This is so backwards and so detrimental to women. At a point where unwanted births are at a low point this idiot does this. Women’s rights are being destroyed left and right. But remember election time is coming up and all of you will be voted out of office. As a group, women must gather and stand up for our rights. Together we will overcome!

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  • Curt
    10/06/2017
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    If that is the case, I feel as an employer I should be able to make employees take birth control on moral grounds. Half-joking.

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  • Dan
    10/06/2017
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    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the same party that is anti-abortion is also anti-birth-control, and comfortable with sexual stimulants, aka erectile-disfunction, being covered.

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