On Friday, the Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era regulation that required employers to provide birth control coverage to their employees for free. The new ruling, made by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department, restricts women's access to birth control. It also will protects religious groups, non-religious businesses and schools from legal action if they choose not to cover contraceptive health care because of moral or religious reasons.
According to Planned Parenthood, most Americans (at least 71 percent of voters) are in favor of free birth control services because women's access to health care should be considered a right. Statistically, Nine out of 10 women in their reproductive years will use birth control at some point in their lifetime either for family planning needs or for other preventative medical care.
The Department of Health and Human Services said that the new regulations, which are already in effect, will not impact the 99.9 percent of 165 million women living in the United States. However, according to Planned Parenthood, the Trump administration's ruling puts at least 62 million at risk.
"This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on," said Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control."
What you can do:
Here's how you can join the conversation as reproductive rights will surely continue to be
- Take your opinions social- #handsoffmyBC is getting a lot of attention online.
- Call your elected officials and let them know how you feel about the decision. If you don't know how to reach your representatives use this link or widget below.
- Donate to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The CRR is a non-profit organization that fights for the rights of women in the US and internationally. Here's how you can find out more about their organization.
- Make a contribution to Planned Parenthood. PP is a healthcare provider that offers affordable care, sex education and information to millions of people both within the US and globally.
- Decisions made at a local level can often have major nationwide implications on reproductive health. Be sure you are registered to vote.
And then some:
And that's not all that was on the table. Last week, House Republicans passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks. Just two days later, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a similar piece of legislation in the U.S. Senate with 45 co-sponsors. Though the bill is unlikely to pass given the necessary threshold in the Senate, Graham said he's "100 percent confident" it will be brought up for a vote.