Trump winds back birth-con­trol rules

Sunday Mail - - WORLD - AN­GUS JOHN­SON WASH­ING­TON

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.

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