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Trump Administration Takes Direct Aim at Birth Control Coverage for 360,000 Oregon Women

Trump Administration Takes Direct Aim at Birth Control Coverage for 360,000 Oregon Women

The Trump administration has taken direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 360,000 Oregon women, eliminating the guarantee they had for coverage for birth control regardless of who they work for. This morning they announced a sweeping new rule to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's requirement that all insurance plans must cover birth control without a co-pay or otherwise ensure access to birth control coverage for women whose employers or schools can legally opt out of providing coverage.

Statement from Lisa Gardner, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon:

"Oregonians reject this unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on. We are so grateful that Governor Kate Brown recently signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which protects no-cost coverage for contraception in Oregon statute. We will do everything in our power to enforce this landmark law and to stop Donald Trump from rolling back the progress women have made over the past century."

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

"With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control. We're talking about a fundamental right - to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children.

"Birth control is not controversial - it's health care the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime. Two million women rely on Planned Parenthood health centers each year for birth control. Nine out of 10 women of reproductive age will use birth control in their lifetime. This administration is carrying out a full-scale attack on birth control - eliminating insurance coverage for birth control, eliminating programs that help women with low incomes access birth control and moving to prohibit healthcare providers from even giving women information about birth control or abortion."

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision that includes birth control as preventive health care - requiring health insurance plans cover birth control without a co-pay. The Obama administration later worked out an accommodation allowing religious-affiliated employers and schools to refuse to cover birth control on religious grounds, while ensuring their employees would still have health coverage provided directly by the health insurance company.

The rule proposed by the Trump administration today would change that, allowing any employer (nonprofit, small business, large corporation, private or publicly held), school or other entity to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage for religious or moral reasons - a standard unprecedented in its vagueness. It also eliminates the guarantee that women will continue to receive coverage for birth control regardless of their employer's beliefs by making the accommodation voluntary.

The rule is peppered with anti-contraception language, making its real purpose clear. For example, the rule rejects the notion that there is a connection between coverage for birth control and reducing unintended pregnancy.

The rule will go into effect immediately, with a comment period ending on December 5.

Background on Birth Control

FACT: Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis.

FACT: We are at the lowest rate of unintended pregnancy in 30 years, and a historic low of pregnancy among teens because of expanded access to birth control and sex education.

FACT: The Affordable Care Act's birth control provision saved women an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills in its first year alone. Thanks to this benefit, more than 62 million women now have access to birth control without co-payments.

FACT: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after the Affordable Care Act's birth control provision took effect, fewer than 4 percent of American women had to pay out-of-pocket for oral birth control. That number was more than 20 percent before the law's passage.

FACT: A 2010 Hart Research poll, conducted before the Affordable Care Act's birth control provision went into effect, found that one in three women voters had struggled to afford prescription birth controls, including 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.

FACT: The rule comes just weeks after the Senate rejected deeply unpopular attempts to pass Graham-Cassidy, the latest version of Trumpcare, which would have eliminated the requirement that health insurance cover birth control.

FACT: According to recent Freedom of Information Act requests, most companies already getting Affordable Care Act birth control waivers aren't even religious groups. Vox reports that, in fact, more than half of the groups who applied for and received exemptions were for-profit companies and corporations.

FACT: 86 percent of Americans (including 91 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Republicans) support policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods.

FACT: Access to birth control can help reduce maternal and even infant mortality. In 1965, at the time of the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that provided the first constitutional protection for birth control, 32 women were dying for every 100,000 live births in the United States. Today, the rate is less than half that. Infant mortality has fallen even faster - from 25 deaths to six deaths per 1,000 live births.

FACT: Women use birth control for a variety of reasons; in fact, 58 percent of all women who use the pill rely on it, at least in part, for something other than pregnancy prevention, including endometriosis, fibroids, menstrual regulation and polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is prevalent among women of color.

FACT: In 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked the invention of the pill is one of the top 10 most transformative moments in the business sector over the past 85 years. Access to birth control has not just opened up educational and career opportunities for women, but it has catapulted women into more management roles. In fact, a study showed that the pill is responsible for one-third of women's wage gains relative to men since the 1960s.

Background on Trump Administration's Anti-Birth Control Appointees

Just look at who's at the helm of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. President Trump has systematically filled key administration positions with anti-science, anti-women's health extremists:

Background on Trump Administration's Attacks on Women's Health

In less than a year, President Donald Trump and his administration have:

Posted on October 6, 2017 in News.
 
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