New health care rules will allow more employers to sidestep contraception mandate

New health care rules will allow more employers to sidestep contraception mandate

But the Center for American Progress (CAP) believes this new rollback in coverage could open "the floodgates" to "nearly any private employer refusing to cover birth control".

The rules leave the Health Resources and Services Administration with the authority to continue to require entities to provide contraceptive coverage if they can not prove an objection, however, the rules don't require companies to file notice of their exemption. Universities are also eligible to opt out of providing contraception to any students they insure. The second rule provides an exemption for organizations and small businesses that object on the basis of moral conviction rather than religious belief.

"The National Women's Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group, has been preparing a lawsuit since last spring, when it learned that the Trump administration meant to rewrite the contraception mandate", The New York Times reported.

"The government", the administration says, "already engages in dozens of programs that subsidize contraception for the low-income women", presumably through Medicaid and Title X programs.

Earlier Friday, the Trump administration posted what's known as an "interim rule", meaning that the administration is using a fast-track process and the regulation change is going into effect immediately. It would be the latest twist in a seesawing legal and ideological fight that has surrounded this aspect of the 2010 health-care law almost from the start.

Indeed, the politicization of birth control began not with the GOP, but with the corrupt administration that invented and peddled the ridiculous fiction that "free" contraception is a human right.

Research has indicated that cost is a major barrier for women who want to access birth control - a factor significantly alleviated by the ACA's contraceptive mandate and now undone by today's rule.

Many on the left are predictably outraged at this rule change, claiming that it amounts to an attack on women's fundamental right to contraception free of personal cost.

From the outset, churches were exempt from the mandate, but not religious employers. Many were Catholic groups citing moral beliefs that prohibited artificial interference with procreation. Bowman previously worked at the Alliance Defending Freedom, which pushed anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-choice ideologies, and in the past has argued that the contraceptive mandate could "spread measles" and that emergency contraception and even IUDs "cause abortions".

The controversial mandate has twice made it to the Supreme Court where the nation's highest court sided with both Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor and their attempts to not be forced to pay for abortion causing drugs in violation of their consciences. A 5-4 decision granted corporations with a "closely held" ownership structure the ability to opt out of the mandate. The administration acknowledges that the Affordable Care Act law did not provide protection for nonreligious, moral conscientious objections as required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The new rules, which are almost 300 pages in total, prevent the Little Sisters of the Poor and other conscientious objectors from litigation.

The new rules announced on Friday also compromise the government's ability to cover the contraceptive needs of women whose employers cut their benefits.

"We should have space for organisations to live out their religious ideas and not face discrimination because of their religious ideas". "What they did was add a real and true religious exemption...that's important when people are thinking and talking about the impact of this rule on the availability of contraceptives, because virtually everybody that is already receiving contraceptives from their employer under this mandate will keep receiving".

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