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Trump Administration Poised to Roll Back Federal Birth Control Coverage Mandate

The Trump administration is set to issue a rule as early as Friday that will weaken the birth control coverage mandate created by the Affordable Care Act, allowing more employers to cite moral or religious objections that allow them to exclude contraception coverage in their health insurance plans, the New York Times reported.

One of the new rules, according to the Times, provides an exemption to employers or insurers that object to covering birth control "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs", while another rule gives an exemption to employers with "moral convictions" against covering birth control.

The new rules will go into effect after they are published on the Federal Register, according to the Times. Trump has been expected to dismantle the birth control health care mandate for a while now, since undoing Obama-era protections one by one is kind of his thing.

More than 55 million women have access to birth control without copayments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration.

The administration's justification for this measure include the health risks that may be associated with the use of certain contraceptives, even though it did not mention the dangers of an unwanted pregnancy or abortion that could result otherwise.

The court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other similar businesses were protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which states that an individual's religious expression shouldn't be "substantially burdened" by a law unless there is a "compelling government interest", per CBS News.

The Obama administration's birth control mandate has been disputed by some religious groups, particularly Catholic organizations, which have argued that having to pay for their employees' birth control violates their religious beliefs.

In expanding the exemption for employers, the Trump administration says there are many other sources of birth control.

"It means choosing between preventive care like contraceptives and paying their rent, their mortgage, electric bill", Mara Gandal-Powers, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center, told the Post. "It prevents pregnancies. It improves maternal mortality".

Religious schools, colleges, hospitals, and charitable organizations, along with some owners of private for-profit companies, have filed lawsuits targeting the mandate.



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