On Friday (Oct. 6), the Trump administration announced employers are not required to provide birth control in their health insurance packages for religious or moral reasons, ending an Obama-era rule that benefited over 60 million women.
Huff Post reports employers can deny women the pill and other contraceptives like the intrauterine device (IUD) and the Plan B morning-after pill, “based on its sincerely held religious beliefs.” Birth control was apart of former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act in 2010, and was available to women at no cost.
Studies have shown that unplanned pregnancies have decreased over the years thanks to the contraceptives, but the administration believes it’s use is to blame or “risky sexual behavior” among teenagers.
In addition to denying birth control to employees, employers no longer have to inform the government about their intentions.
The rush in overthrowing Obama’s birth coverage rule is due to the administrations’ will to avoid backlash. “It would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest to engage in full notice and comment rule-making,” the administration said per The New York Times.
Lawsuits were seen from non-profits, nuns and other employers for Obama’s requirement but now with the rules in reverse, women’s rights groups are bound to take issue to court over claims of discrimination.
“With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control,” Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Mother Jones. “The Trump administration just took direct aim at birth control coverage for 62 million women.”
You can read the rule, in full, here.