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New rules expand list of employers that can deny coverage for contraceptives

New rules expand list of employers that can deny coverage for contraceptives

According to the Times, the rules will still allow exemption to a wide range of employers, including nonreligious organizations, for a variety of reasons, including "moral convictions", and will not require them to file notices or certifications. If the new rules are enacted, a furious round of lawsuits are sure to lay into the Trump administration, as over 55 million women have access to birth control (without co-payments) as a result of the contraceptive mandate.

"I can't imagine that many employers are going to be willing to certify that they have a moral objection to standard birth control methods", said Dan Mendelson, president of the consulting firm Avalere Health.

The administration has issued a long-expected revision to Obama-era rules. "Under the Affordable Care Act, religious organizations already have an accommodation that still ensures their employees get coverage through other means.This rule is about taking away women's fundamental health care, plain and simple".

Penny Nance, of Concerned Women for America, added, "One of my fondest memories of working with President Trump so far is sitting in the Rose Garden as he stood strongly for religious liberty and asked the Little Sisters of the Poor to come on stage with him". The ACLU, anxious it might encroach on women's rights, initially threatened to sue, but later changed their minds, saying the EO was toothless.

"No Americans should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith", he said, announcing the administration's plan to revisit birth control-related regulations and expand who was eligible for an exemption.

"It improves the health of women, children and families as well as communities overall; reduces maternal mortality; and enhances economic stability for women and their families".

Though the mandate was put in place in an effort to protect women's health, according to the Obama administration, the Trump administration is arguing that contraception does not protect women's health, and in fact claims free birth control could promote "risky sexual behavior" in teenagers and adults. Insurance companies with a religious affiliation are also exempt from the birth control mandate. Both of these measures would reportedly go into effect as soon as they are published by the office of Federal Registrar.

The Health and Human Services Department's new rules cite the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling as legal grounds.

"The Trump administration's decision today is yet another attack on American women, including the 99 percent of American women who have used birth control at some point in their lives-and especially the 54 percent of Black and 57 percent of Latina women between the ages of 18-34 who have struggled to afford contraception", Thomas said. 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.

The Family Research Council, through its president, Tony Perkins, said, "After eight years of the federal government's relentless assault on the First Amendment, the Trump administration has taken concrete steps today that will once again erect a bulwark of protection around American's First Freedom - religious freedom".

"If you truly want to reduce the need for abortion, invest in women's health and preventative care".


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