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.
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.
The Trump administration plans to issue new regulations that could allow any employer to refuse to cover birth control in their employees’ health care plans by citing religious or moral objections.
Richard B. Katskee, legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, responded:
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.