WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 6, 2017 – Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America held a press call with the American Public Health Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to discuss an expected Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 62 million women.
Public health experts Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association; Dr. Hal Lawrence, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; and Dr. Haywood Brown, the President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, spoke about this blatant attack on basic health care that a majority of women rely on.
Last spring, a troubling leaked rule surfaced from the Trump administration — taking direct aim at birth control coverage for more than 62 million women. If this rule were to become law, any employer, for any religious or moral reason, would be allowed to refuse to provide health insurance coverage of birth control for their employees. Previously, if a religiously-affiliated employer had an objection to birth control, the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act ensured that employees still had their birth control covered through other means. However, this leaked rule would do two things: eliminate the coverage protection for employees who work for employers that have a religious objection, and allow ANY employer, regardless of whether they are religiously-affiliated, to deny employees coverage for birth control because they claim a religious or moral objection.
“We don’t know exactly when this rule is coming, but we know it is imminent. Let’s be clear: this rule has nothing to do with religion. Under the Affordable Care Act religious organizations already have an accommodation that still ensures their employees get coverage through other means,” said Dana Singiser, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This rule is about taking away women’s fundamental health care, plain and simple. In fact, the leaked rule itself is peppered with anti-contraception language, making its real purpose clear. If you truly want to reduce the need for abortion, invest in women’s health and preventive care. Instead, this administration is setting up an attack on basic health care. We cannot allow President Trump to roll back the progress women have made over the past century.”
Dana Singiser’s full remarks can be found here.
“APHA believes access to birth control is a fundamental right and is integral to the health of women and the broader public,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association. “Securing guaranteed insurance coverage for birth control without co-pays was a major public health victory and we know it has produced stronger health outcomes. The public health community is incensed that the administration plans to undo this progress.”
“Contraception is an integral part of preventive care and a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives. Since the Affordable Care Act increased access to contraceptives, our nation has achieved a 30 year low in its unintended pregnancy rate, including among teens,” said Dr. Hal Lawrence, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, American College of Obstetricians. “Any move to decrease access to these vital services would have damaging effects on public health and would essentially, turn back the clock on women’s health.”
“As the nation’s largest professional organization for women’s health care physicians, ACOG is extremely disappointed that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has chosen to undermine the best interest of patients we care for,” added Dr. Haywood Brown, the President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “This rule will negatively impact the health of women and their families by limiting access to essential preventive care.”
For additional questions, or to request an audio recording of the call, please email email@example.com.
BACKGROUND: Leaked Birth Control Rule
The leaked birth control rule would allow any employer, for religious or moral reasons, to refuse to cover birth control for their employees.
- Previously, if a religiously-affiliated employer had a religious objection to birth control, the Affordable Care Act would still ensure that employees had their birth control covered through other means.
- This leaked rule eliminates that coverage protection for employees by making it optional; and allows ANY employer, regardless of whether they are religiously-affiliated, to deny employees coverage for birth control because they claim a religious or moral objection.
Birth control is not controversial: It’s something the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime.
- Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis. Birth control should be treated like any other preventive medical care.
- According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, after the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision took effect, fewer than four percent of American women had to pay out of pocket for oral birth control. That number was more than 20 percent before the law passed.
- A 2010 Hart Research poll, conducted before the Affordable Care Act’s birth control provision went into effect, found that one in three women voters had struggled to afford prescription birth control, including 57 percent of young women aged 18 to 34.
In the months since Trump has taken office, we’ve seen a full-on assault on women’s health and rights, and a fundamental disdain for the reality of women’s health and lives.
- This administration has undermined women’s health and rights at every turn – by implementing an expanded global gag rule, undermining the nation’s family planning program, rolling back safeguards for transgender students, threatening DACA recipients, revoking Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Orders, attempting to block millions from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood, and more.
- Just look at who’s at the helm of President Trump’s HHS. President Trump has filled key administration positions with anti-science, anti-women’s health extremists, like former lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee who claims that contraception doesn’t work (Teresa Manning), an anti-sex ed activist who is in charge of programs to reduce unintended pregnancy (Valerie Huber), and a spokesperson who claims that abortion causes breast cancer (Charmaine Yoest).
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers and advocates of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. www.ppfa.org