The Trump administration announced today two interim final rules weakening the Affordable Care Act’s requirements of inclusion of contraceptive coverage in employees’ insurance plans.
In response, Dr. Anne Davis, Consulting Medical Director at Physicians for Reproductive Health, issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s decision could allow any employer granted the exemption to take away birth control access from their employees, leaving the vast majority of American women vulnerable to the whim of their employers.
An employer’s beliefs have no place in these private decisions, just as they would not in any other conversation about a patient’s health care.
Contraception is an essential component of health care. It not only allows women to plan and space their pregnancies in a way that is best for their health and their families, but also helps manage a variety of health conditions. Insurance coverage must include birth control so that women can choose the method that meets their needs and have access to it consistently.
Millions of women have gained access to birth control through the Affordable Care Act, and all of them have been put at risk of losing this vital piece of their health care. Every day, I see the impact that birth control access has had on my patients’ health and well-being. The contraceptive coverage benefit under the Affordable Care Act has done so much to reduce the barriers to birth control that my patients frequently faced. Let’s not go back to the days when patients couldn’t afford the birth control that helps them live healthier lives.
No matter where they work, women need and deserve birth control access. An employer’s beliefs have no place in these private decisions, just as they would not in any other conversation about a patient’s health care. It’s a dangerous intrusion into a woman’s privacy and her ability to get the care she needs.
The new rules also reflect a disturbing trend in both the Trump administration and the current Congress of efforts to dismantle women’s access to health care, including administration appointees who oppose constitutionally protected rights, legislation placing restrictions on abortion access and allowing states to restrict family planning funds, and health care repeal bills that would have left millions of Americans uninsured or without coverage for essential services. As a doctor, I am deeply concerned about the impact of these continued attacks on access to care for my patients and for the health of our nation. We have to do better.”