Donald Trump has cooked up new schemes with his buddies in the GOP, and they have set women’s rights in their crosshairs once again.
The Affordable Care Act has been under attack continuously during the Trump administration since the president is desperate to have Congress repeal it.
Congress has now failed three times to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act has been a blessing for many aspects of healthcare, such as protecting those with pre-existing conditions from getting charged enormous fees or being denied healthcare altogether.
A group that has benefitted substantially from Obamacare is women, since the policy mandates birth control coverage by employers. Under the act, 55 million women have access to birth control coverage without co-pay.
What’s Happening Now:
After three failed attempts of repeal, Trump had instead turned to ripping apart certain aspects of the mandate.
According to the New York Times:
“The Trump administration is poised to roll back the federal requirement for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, vastly expanding exemptions for those that cite moral or religious objections.”
Hundreds of thousands of women could lose access to their birth control under this rollback. Before addressing the Trump’s religious reasoning for the decision, it’s worth noting that women do not only take birth control in order to prevent pregnancy. Many women take birth control for other health issues, such as polycystic ovary disease, or to control cramp pain.
The Trump administration would allow employers to deny birth control coverage based on any “sincerely held religious beliefs”. Beyond that, which blurs the lines of church and state, employers could also deny coverage based on moral conviction.
Therefore, an employer could refuse to provide medically necessary birth control because of moral convictions about pre-marital sex. Terrified yet?
The Trump administration said that it expanded the exemptions so widely since it could not specifically address every religious concern brought forth by lawsuits and other complaints. Shoving women under the rug was the more practical solution.
Ignoring the health benefits birth control provides, the administration released health risks associated with birth control, and also cited birth control’s ability to “promote risky sexual behavior” in teenagers.
Trump raised children, he should face reality: teenagers have sex, and providing birth control means that sex doesn’t result in teenage pregnancy.
Employers intending to take advantage of this change in litigation wouldn’t even need to notify the government, just their employees. Under this, anyone could claim a religious exemption and turn their backs on their female employees.
And that isn’t limited to employers; schools can now refuse to provide birth control for students based on religious conviction.
The Trump administration is moving forward with the change without waiting for public comment, claiming that waiting for the public’s input would somehow be bad for the public’s interest. Involving citizens in major decisions affecting their lives is too inconvenient for the administration, apparently.
Women benefit greatly when they have access to birth control. Allowing religious beliefs to take precedent over half the people in the country is a dangerous move.
Even if Trump could defend his siding with religious advocacy, there are no legal protections for moral conviction, but his administration is moving on ahead with that defense anyway.
Trump’s war on women, kicked off with his comment about groping us without consent, just keeps on going.
H/T: The New York Times