The National Campaign Troubled By New Rules That Limit No Co-Pay Birth Control Coverage

Oct 06 2017

(Washington, DC)—The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign) is deeply concerned about the impact of the Trump Administration’s new rules on contraceptive coverage and access, which will affect hundreds of thousands of women’s ability to access the method of birth control that is right for them.  Released today, the new rules will significantly expand the number of employers eligible for exemptions from covering contraception based on religious or moral objections. These rules could leave many women without access to no co-pay coverage for some or all methods of birth control. 

“We are very troubled by the inevitability that these rules will result in women losing coverage of birth control through their health insurance,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of The National Campaign. “There is no doubt that these rules will exacerbate the current gaps in coverage and access to contraception that already exist and will only create more difficulties for women seeking to access the birth control method that is right for them.

“Ultimately, these rules will make it harder for women to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant, which will negatively impact economic and educational opportunities for women. Limiting coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods robs women of a critical part of their basic health care,” Ehrlich stated.

Specifically:

·       One new rule offers an exemption to any employer or insurer that objects to covering contraceptive services based on a religious objection.

·       The other new rule offers an exemption to some employers that have “moral convictions” against covering contraceptives.

Because these are Interim Final Rules, they take effect immediately. However, it is uncertain how quickly employers will stop covering contraception or how many additional employers will seek these exemptions.

More than 62 million women are eligible for no-cost women’s preventive services, which includes contraception. Women have saved at least $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for birth control pills alone since the benefit went into effect, and there is evidence that the provision is increasing the ability to obtain more effective methods of contraception for those who want it. Furthermore, polling from The National Campaign shows that 81% of Americans (including 70% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats) agree that birth control is a basic part of women’s health care. 

“We have a long-standing respect for diverse religious views as well as a strong commitment to ensuring that all women have the ability to access the full range of contraceptive methods so they can choose what works best for them. We believe that the previous rules balanced those concerns,” Ehrlich stated. “Rather than creating more barriers to women’s contraceptive coverage, we as a nation should be focused on ensuring that all women have the coverage, access and information necessary to decide if, when and under what circumstances to become pregnant.”

About The National Campaign: The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Please visit us at www.TheNationalCampaign.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

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