Trump’s Plan to Reverse Birth Control Mandate for Religious Employers Will Backfire

One of the most hotly contested aspects of the Affordable Care Act was that President Obama, through the Department of Health and Human Services, made sure insurers or employers who provided insurance to their employees included contraceptive care in their plans. If a woman needed birth control, for example, it would then be covered by her insurance no matter what, even if her boss opposed it due to his faith.

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This mandate didn’t apply to churches, but it did apply to religious universities, hospitals, and charities. Eventually, the Supreme Court said certain for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby could be exempt from that rule, as could religious charities as long as they filled out an opt-out form, though even that was seen by some as an infringement on their religious rights.

Long story short: An attempt to make sure women’s health care needs were covered under the law was fought, at every turn, by religious groups who felt providing birth control and other forms of contraception meant being complicit in abortion. That wasn’t true, but they believed it, so the law had to bend in their direction.

And now Donald Trump is set to give those religious groups another gift.

The New York Times reports that Trump is ready to sign another executive order that gives religious employers a way out of providing birth control coverage for women. (Presumably, that means they wouldn’t even have to fill out the opt-out form that was oh-so-very onerous.)

It means more women will have less access to the contraception they need. (Nice work, Ivanka.)

On its website, the White House Office of Management and Budget said it is reviewing an “interim final rule” to relax the requirement, a step that would all but ensure a court challenge by women’s rights groups.

There are, thankfully, several ways women’s rights groups could challenge the rule change, but whether judges would see it from their perspective is unclear.

The ironic thing about this is that, by signing such an order, Trump and his Religious Right enablers would be ensuring that more women get abortions down the line. Researchers have already shown a “decline in unintended pregnancies” since the Affordable Care Act was implemented. Trump would be reversing that.

The hypocrisy of the “pro-life” movement strikes again.

(Image via Shutterstock)

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
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