In 2015 former President Barack Obama instituted the Affordable Care Act which started requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives. This act helped women in an extremely positive way, to obtain contraceptives at a more affordable price.
On October 6 2017, the Trump Administration rolled back the Affordable Care Act. A call that will affect millions of women in the United States. This means that business employers are no longer required to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, which increases not only the demand but the price to buy contraceptives.
Due to Trump’s new adjustment to the bill, employers can also deny employees birth control based on their own religious beliefs and moral values.
“More than 55 million women have access to birth control without co-payments because of the contraceptive coverage mandate, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration. Under the new regulations, hundreds of thousands of women could lose those benefits,” said The New York Times.
This new rollback takes the choice and availability away from thousands of women. Birth control is an important part of Women’s rights. It allows women to take control of their own bodies and fates.
For men to choose if women should be allowed to decide if they can have affordable birth control is ignorant. It should be the choice of the women because it’s their body that will be affected and could need it. Also, for businesses to not include birth control in their insurance because of their own religion’s beliefs leaves women devastated.
But because a lot of schools do not teach sex education instead of abstinence only many people do not understand all the reasons to have birth control.
Birth control does not mean more sex. There are more reasons to take birth control than just to become sexually active and prevent pregnancy. It can help regulate periods, lessen cramps, lower risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, lessen chances of anemia and more.
This mandate is based on employers morals or religion to not include birth control in their insurance plans which becomes an issue of whether it goes against the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Some say that the new mandate respects religions that do not allow the use of birth control. The opposite argues that this gives rights to people for their morals.
Democrats are especially upset with the bill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticised Trump’s new roll back.
“We have long turned the page on the days when a boss could stand in between a woman and her own healthcare decisions — this decision drags the country backwards,” he said in a statement with CNN. “This decision is just the latest in a series of moves the Trump Administration has made to undermine and sabotage our health care system.”
Democrats in the House and Senate are introducing a new bill named “Protect Access to Birth Control Act”. It was introduced into the House October 19, 2017. If passed the act will nullify Trumps change. Several lawsuits have been filed to try and stop the bill.
This bill has created a divide between those whose religious and moral beliefs fit the new bill and those whose are against the change and what it will do to women. Only time will tell if the “Protect Access to Birth Control Act” can bring back the Affordable Care Act.