Leaked birth control rule would broaden religious exemption

The new rule will fulfill a campaign pledge by Mr. Trump.

The administration then argues that broader exemptions are necessary to serve the interest of those people and organizations with sincerely held religious or moral beliefs opposing contraception or other medical treatment. The said rule became quite controversial, particularly since it was the first time that birth control was deemed an essential preventive health service. A 2016 Pew survey found that more than two-thirds of respondents, including half of respondents who regularly attended church services, thought employers with religious objections should still have to cover contraception for their employees.

Democrats in Congress have vowed to fight just as hard to preserve the mandate, saying it has benefited more than 50 million women. President Trump has drafted a rule which will roll back the free contraceptive coverage mandate.

Obamacare "guarantees coverage to more than 55 million women, saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills in the first year it went into effect, and has contributed to the lowest USA abortion rate since the procedure became legal in 1973", HuffPost reports.

The leak comes after the Trump administration signaled it would scale back the mandate via an interim final rule, a fast-tracked process that would allow the regulation to go into effect immediately after it's finalized.

Dannenfelser commented, "This interim rule, if issued as written, is an important step in acknowledging the importance of conscience rights for all Americans".

An official at the Office of Management and Budget declined to discuss the rule, other than to say it was under review.

Trumpcare nightmare: Under a new rule from the Trump administration any boss, school administrator, or insurance company can eliminate birth control coverage for religious reasons. Possible grounds for the lawsuit could be inadequate explanation or justification for the rule, which makes it "arbitrary and capricious". "We'll see the Trump administration in court if they try to follow through on these plans". The Affordable Care Act now requires that employment-based group health care plans provide certain kinds of preventative care.

While signing an executive order supporting religious freedom in early May, he invited representatives from the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group that sued the government over the mandate. In a letter dated May 25, a group of 14 senators asked White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to "cease any efforts. that would undermine access to affordable preventive services, including contraception, for women".

They will continue to litigate until they receive "a final order from the court making clear the federal government does not have the authority to force religious groups to do this", Rienzi said.

The company would not have to notify the government if it was seeking an exemption, Vox adds.

President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The Obama administration, in August 2011, needed insurers and employers to cover the complete Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptive methods.

"Any rule that allows employers to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees is an attempt at allowing religion to be used as a license to discriminate", ACLU spokesman Louise Melling said in a statement.

Reaction has been swift from religious rights and pro-life groups. The Obama administration, at the Supreme Court's urging, considered a number of alternatives. And study after study has shown that women with the ability to plan their pregnancies have healthier, more stable families and greater earning power.

  • Zachary Reyes