Under the Affordable Care Act, employers were required to include birth control coverage in their health care plans. Sounds standard enough, seeing that birth control is health care, so naturally it should be included in health care plans. Unfortunately, the GOP doesn’t think so, and they have just rolled back this Obama-era mandate.
Effective today, if any employer is opposed on religious or moral grounds to providing their employees with health insurance plans that include co-pay free birth control, they don’t have to offer it anymore.
Even universities can stop providing free birth control to their students. Prior to today, some companies and houses of worship were exempt from the birth control mandate.
One fear is that employers will stop offering the co-pay-free birth control plans, not because of a religious obligation, but because it’s cheaper to offer insurance plans without contraceptive options.
Here’s a hypothetical: A woman works at one of these faith-based employers. Her insurance doesn’t cover her birth control prescription, and she can’t afford to buy it on her own — after all, certain name brand oral birth control prescriptions can cost upwards of $100 a month. Without access to contraception, she gets pregnant, and now wants to take maternity leave and, of course, that’s unpaid as well. This isn’t women asking for handouts, this is cut-and-dry workplace discrimination.
One beacon of hope: The ACLU is already all over the issue.
“We’re suing the Trump administration to block new rules allowing employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control,” the ACLU tweeted this morning.
Let’s see if this ACLU lawsuit makes it to the Supreme Court. Female health and welfare is being endangered in the name of religious freedom.