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As of today, free birth control may be harder to get

As of today, free birth control may be harder to get”

The Obama administration had put in place a religious accommodation for those other religious entities morally opposed to contraceptive coverage that required them to file a form or notify HHS that they will not provide it, but many Catholic employers still objected, saying the accommodation still would require their insurers to provide coverage for abortion inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures that violated their religious beliefs.

The Trump administration has also slashed funding for open enrollment outreach by 90%, and a number of groups have said the HHS is not working with them on marketing for open enrollment as it had in previous years.

The Trump administration continues to roll back Obama-era regulations ending the birth control mandate for health care plans.

"There's a real business reason to offering coverage for abortion and contraceptives", said Marianne Fazen, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health.

The contraception mandate was implemented as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement. "Leave our birth control access alone".

"Women on health insurance through their employers are getting health insurance that doesn't meet their needs, and men would be getting health insurance that does". The guidelines don't represent a new policy, but are based on more than 200 existing statutes and 158 existing regulations.

The new exemption for religious objections takes effect immediately, and it now includes nonprofit organizations as well as for-profit companies, even ones that are publicly traded. When they did so, the administration would arrange to have insurance companies provide contraception to the employers' female workers, without the employers' involvement.

Women's groups are expected to challenge the revised policy.

The Supreme Court offered relief from the burdensome mandate to Hobby Lobby and other for-profit corporations in its 5-4 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

East Texas Baptist, Houston Baptist, Oklahoma Baptist, and Truett McConnell universities are among the evangelical schools that filed suit, along with the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order that came to symbolize the religious opposition to the mandate.

Donald Trump became president before the issue was resolved. He called the Little Sisters of the Poor up to the stage with him.

The department disputes reports that millions of women may lose their birth control coverage if they are unable to pay for it themselves.

"No one should be forced to choose between living out his or her faith and complying with the law", said Atty. Gen.

"There is no way to know how many women will be affected", Salganicoff said.

Betty Ann Blake, who lives in Alpharetta, said she doesn't think a CEO's religious beliefs should have any impact on the lives of employees.

"The government", the administration says, "already engages in dozens of programs that subsidize contraception for the low-income women", presumably through Medicaid and Title X programs. The mandate saved women an estimated $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013, according to the center. Experts said that could interfere with efforts to promote modern long-acting implantable contraceptives, such as IUDs, which are more expensive. "The Trump Administration's ideologically-driven decision is a shameful sanctioning of gender discrimination that endangers women's health". "It improves the health of women, children and families as well as communities overall", the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said in a statement.

The rules will undermine the Affordable Care Act's guarantee of coverage for birth control without a copay. "They're taking contraception coverage away from women without justification".



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