Trump administration scraps ACA's birth control mandate

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President Donald Trump's administration on Friday eviscerated requirements under the Obamacare law that employers provide insurance to cover women's birth control, keeping a campaign pledge that pleased his conservative Christian supporters.

"The Trump administration would now allow employers to impose their beliefs regarding family planning on women-decisions that should be left to each woman and her family-by denying no-copay birth control to women and forcing them to pay the full cost for contraception out of pocket", DeLauro said in a statement on Friday.

The new policy was a long-anticipated revision to Affordable Care Act requirements that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost.

President Trump hinted at his plan to roll back the birth control mandate this spring as he signed an executive order on religious freedom.

"With this rule, the Trump administration is taking direct aim at birth control coverage for nearly two million women in North Carolina", said Jenny Black, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic's CEO, in a statement. "President Trump promised that this administration would 'lead by example on religious liberty, ' and he is delivering on that promise".

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"It is a huge loophole for any employer that does not want to provide birth control coverage to their employees", says Dania Palanker, a professor at Georgetown's Center on Health Insurance Reform.

The Catholic Association applauded Trump for protecting Americans from an overbearing government. "Coming on the heels of the abortion ban and the failure to reauthorize CHIP this week, this action by the Trump administration reminds us that the anti-choice GOP is trying to impose a radical worldview on the country". This could impact numerous millions of women who now receive contraceptives at no cost under this provision.

The 2012 mandate policies allowed only a narrow religious exemption for churches and their integrated auxiliaries, leaving many religious charities and universities to decide whether to comply with the mandate or face heavy fines.

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This rule would significantly overhaul the birth control mandate as it had been implemented by the Obama administration. The administration acknowledges that the law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, "does not provide protection for nonreligious, moral conscientious objections".

The new rule keeps the contraceptive mandate for employers generally, but creates an exemption for religious organizations, or organizations that submit they are based on a faith foundation.

Dr. Anne Davis, Consulting Medical Director of Physicians for Reproductive Health, strongly condemned the rules in a statement shared with POPSUGAR.

Health and Human Services officials said the new rule would have no impact on "99.9% of women" in the United States.

In response to today's announcement on the revised rules, EWTN CEO Michael Warsaw said, "For more than five years, the HHS contraception mandate has forced Americans to violate their deeply held moral and ethical principles, without regard for the Constitution's guarantee of religious liberty". They will "still need relief in courts", he said, but was confident now that it would happen.

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This decision arrives on the heels of the GOP's latest failed attempt to scrap the ACA altogether, the Graham-Cassidy bill, which had also promised to make it more hard for women to access birth control.

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