ACLU, Women's Groups File, Threaten Lawsuits Over Trump Birth Control Ruling
07 Октября 2017, 12:28 | Katrina Lee
Price had to depart 'the swamp'
For the last six years, almost all employers have had no choice but to include birth control coverage in the health insurance plans they offer their employees.
Becket and other law firms representing employers with religious objections to birth control say they will continue to await a final injunction from the courts, since even the new rules aren't set in stone.
The Trump administration issued the directive as an interim final rule, meaning it will become law immediately but is subject to a public comment process.
The latest announcement builds upon an executive order in May claiming "to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty" by providing "regulatory relief" for organizations that object on religious grounds to Obamacare coverage requirements for certain health services, including contraception.
The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday said it is filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration. "We can not allow President Trump to roll back the progress women have made over the past century".
"Birth control is not controversial - it's basic health care the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime", Black said. Under the Justice Department guidelines, this could expand to allowing employers to hire in accordance with their religious beliefs and prohibit denying federal contracts to entities based on religious beliefs.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is now considering all legal action to ensure women can get the health care they need, free from discrimination.
Well, along with looking for something that offers good pay and workable hours, you're going to need to consider how quickly you want to get pregnant, because the Trump administration just rolled back the Obama-era requirement that employers offer their employees free birth control in their health plans.
"We believe that people with honest religious beliefs should be able to use an exemption", said Lori Windham, an attorney with the group.
That specific group, whose members dedicate their lives to living with and caring for the poorest of the elderly, was faced with fines of $75 million annually for following their Christian faith, and not paying for workers' contraceptives, including abortifacients.
The original rule is still in place, but under policies announced today, non-profits and for-profit employers that are closely-held - and even some publicly-traded for-profits - will be exempt from the mandate, if they can demonstrate a religiously-based objection to the mandate's demands.
"Today's decision by the Trump administration puts healthcare decisions in the hands of a woman's employer, which is so demeaning, discriminatory, and unsafe that it's hard to put it into words", Herring said in a statement. The religious exemption would cover a religious affiliated nonprofit employer, such as a church, school or charity. The second rule provides an exemption for organizations and small businesses that object on the basis of moral conviction rather than religious belief.
Over 55 million U.S. women have birth control coverage with zero out-of-pocket costs, according to the National Women's Law Center. The administration acknowledges that the law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, "does not provide protection for nonreligious, moral conscientious objections".
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