Statement by Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation:

“These rules are clearly designed to discriminate against women, stigmatize women’s health, and dismantle a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act, which allowed over 55 million women to gain access to birth control coverage without co-pays or other out of pocket costs. Allowing an employer to deny birth control coverage to employees and their families, or allowing insurance companies to deny birth control coverage to all of their enrollees, is a clear violation of the law. Already, several Attorneys General and advocacy groups have sued the Trump Administration over an earlier version of the now finalized rules.

No one should be denied health care because of their boss’s beliefs. Women across the country see these rules for what they truly are: a misogynistic effort by self-righteous politicians to give employers control over their bodies. Denying access to birth control is about denying women equality, but birth control does not just allow women to prevent or delay pregnancy. It is also used to treat serious health conditions, like endometriosis, and to prevent recurrence of ovarian cysts.”

The rules provide employers with a sweeping religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of no-cost birth control coverage—including publicly-traded corporations—and allows closely-held companies, nonprofit organizations, and schools to claim a moral exemption from providing birth control coverage. Together, these rules threaten to take away birth control coverage from potentially thousands of people across the country by allowing virtually any employer to discriminate against women as well as transgender and binary people who rely on health insurance to cover the high costs of birth control, including IUDs.

###

Contact: Erin Gistaro – egistaro@feminist.org