US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning to scrap birth control coverage for women by eliminating a federal rule that mandates employers to cover birth control on their insurance plans.
In a recent report by the Huffington Post, it has been revealed that Trump is considering the removal of birth control coverage to 55 million American women.
According to the news outlet, the White House Office of Management and Budget revealed on its website that it is currently reviewing an interim final rule that would allow employers to deny birth control coverage to their female employees — a move that did not sit well with women advocates.
National Women’s Law Center Vice President Gretchen Borchelt expressed her concern about Trump’s latest plan, claiming that it is certain that “some women will lose birth control coverage.” This is despite the fact that the details of the rule have not been announced yet.
Donald Trump’s proposal to remove birth control coverage was also slammed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, calling the idea “sickening.”
“The draft rule announced today attempts to tear away women’s control over their own private health decisions and put that control in the hands of employers and politicians.”
Meanwhile, the Center for Reproductive Rights also expressed their dismay about the Trump’s proposed new rule, revealing that they are planning to challenge it.
“Without health coverage of contraception under the [Affordable Care Act], countless women will lose their basic right to prevent pregnancy and plan when they have children,” Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the legal advocacy group stated.
“Plain and simple: President Trump’s executive order will hurt women. And the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court.”
It can be recalled that birth control policy was enacted under former President Barack Obama’s administration. The said rule became quite controversial, particularly since it was the first time that birth control was deemed an essential preventive health service.
Sources revealed that during the first year of birth control coverage, it saved women $1.4 billion on contraceptive pills and played a huge factor in the decrease of abortion rate in the country.
Despite its positive effects, some continue to oppose the policy including religious employers. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations cannot be required to cover birth control for their employees. Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft supply chain, challenged the contraception mandate claiming that it violates their religious freedom by requiring them to pay for birth control methods that they find “morally objectionable.”
HHS Secretary Tom Price, a known opponent of reproductive rights, praised Donald Trump’s move of considering the removal of birth control coverage, claiming that the president is “taking a strong stand for religious liberty.” In 2012, Price had told ThinkProgress that no woman has trouble financing her monthly birth control prescriptions.
“Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”
Donald Trump’s birth control coverage removal plan came amid his controversial budget proposal released last week. Trump’s first major budget proposal is targeting to cut over $1 trillion from social programs including Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The president is also reportedly planning to allot $25 billion to Ivanka Trump’s Parental Leave program where employees will be given six weeks of paid leave after birth or adoption.
In addition, Trump proposed to add $168 million for charter school programs and $25 million for a new private-school choice program. This will allow families to have assistance in case they opt to send their children to private schools.
[Featured Image by Luca Bruno/AP Images]