I attended my first Values Voter Summit this weekend, the annual event hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., that aims to “mobilize citizens to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life and limited government.”
Ask women about birth control, and they’ll tell you they use it to protect their health and to plan their families. They are also likely to explain that it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it’s critical to their health and equality.
New regulations issued by the Trump administration today, however, could threaten all of that. Under the regulations, bosses and universities can use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced plans today to sue the Trump administration to block new regulations that let employers and universities use religion as an excuse to refuse to cover birth control on their employees’ and students’ health insurance plans. An earlier version of the rule was leaked to the media in May but the proposed regulations were formally issued today.
Saturday is Women’s Equality Day, when Americans mark the anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote. It’s a welcome opportunity to reflect on how far our nation has advanced in the fight for equal rights. And it’s a stark reminder of just how far we have left to go.
Today, in a win for women’s health, a federal appeals court issued an opinion in Real Alternatives v. Burwell that will ensure that employees at a secular, nonprofit organization continue to have access to contraception.
As new federal regulations reportedly are imminent that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives, two Trump administration attorneys who fought for employers to be able to cite religious beliefs as justification to deny women access to vital health care have been in the news recently.
Late Thursday, Americans United told a federal appeals court that women would be severely harmed by the Trump administration’s proposed change to the current requirement that health insurance cover contraceptives, a change that would allow employers and universities to use religion as an excuse to deny contraceptive coverage completely.
In early May, President Donald J. Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order that was aimed at allowing bosses and universities to use religion as an excuse to deny their employees and students insurance coverage for contraception.
When President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order last week, he claimed it would protect religious freedom. The order instead tramples it. Here’s why: it weaken the protections for houses of worship and may open the door to discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, women, religious minorities and others under the guise of religious freedom.
Americans United has worked for decades to protect Americans’ access to effective and affordable birth control, standing up to foes who seek to use religion as an excuse to deny healthcare that is so vital to women and their families. Contraception is crucial to women’s health and equality.