Trump winds back birth-control rules
THE Trump administration has rolled back the requirement that employer-provided health insurance plans pay for birth control.
Under changes, any employer with religious objections to birth control will now be allowed to omit coverage for contraception from their workers’ plans.
The new rules, which could be issued as soon as Friday, fulfil a campaign promise by President Donald Trump and are sure to touch off a round of lawsuits on the issue.
More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration.
Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose birthcontrol benefits they now receive at no cost under the Affordable Care Act.
Mr Trump had signalled in May that action was coming on the issue, signing an executive order that instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to address “conscience-based objections” to the mandate.
“For too long, the Federal Government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs,” he said at the time.
Mr Trump’s religious and moral exemption is expected to galvanise many of his opponents and religious conservatives who support his administration.