PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Trump administration pulled back Friday on mandates that require employers to pay for birth control.
The decision whittles away at an Obamacare mandate that has been fought by religious leaders, including Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik.
Birth control is credited with greatly reducing unintended pregnancies and the number of abortions performed. Many fear that could change now.
“This is an appalling attack on birth control, which the vast majority of women depend on,” Kim Evert, with Planned Parenthood, said.
Planned Parenthood says many women can’t afford birth control, and without it, they fear many more unintended pregnancies.
“Unintended pregnancy rates are the lowest they’ve been in 30 years,” Evert said. “That’s because there’s better access to birth control, and there are better methods available. This will make access much more difficult for millions of women.”
Besides whittling away at Obamacare, Planned Parenthood says they feel like this is an attack on women.
“We know that nine out of ten women will use birth control at some point in their lives, and it’s important to them,” Evert said. “Now employers can just decide that they don’t want to make this available for their employees.”
Many employers, including the Catholic Church, oppose paying for birth control on religious grounds.
Bishop Zubik released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“Our attorneys are reviewing the Interim Final Rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. We are thankful that it appears to be a significant step on the road to ensuring that the government cannot force religious institutions to violate the precepts that they teach. At the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court, we have been engaged with the government to try to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of our court case. It is my prayer that this latest rule will encourage a swift final resolution of this litigation that satisfies the concerns of all parties.”
But many groups, including the ACLU, say they are prepared to file suit to oppose the Trump policy.