Trump's birth control coverage change sparks praise, outrage

2 weeks 15 hours 42 minutes ago Friday, October 06 2017 Oct 6, 2017 Friday, October 06, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT October 06, 2017 in News
By: Claire Kopsky, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - On Friday, President Trump announced a rollback on Obama's birth-control coverage rule. 

Trump's rule allows all employers to opt out of including birth control in employees' insurance plan if they feel it goes against their religious beliefs.

Republican senator Roy Blunt released a statement today praising President Trump's announcement.

“I commend President Trump for following through on his promise to restore and protect the religious freedom and conscience rights of all Americans,” said Blunt. 

“No act of government should ever force Americans to compromise their faith. The new rules announced today will allow groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to focus on their core missions without the fear that they’ll face huge government fines or lengthy legal battles. I’ll continue working with the administration to protect Americans’ right to exercise their beliefs, a fundamental freedom so important that the founders listed it in the first sentence of the First Amendment to our Constitution.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, more than 62 million women have access to birth control.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Communications Director Bonyen Lee-Gilmore said this rule is harmful to women.

“The new rule release regarding access to birth control and co-payments is not only disappointing but a direct and discriminatory attack against women and their access to healthcare,” she said. 

“1.2 million Missouri women access birth control without co-payments so I think the impact could be devastating depending on who their employer is,” said Lee-Gilmore. “Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, about $1.4 billion have been saved by women who needed birth control pills.”  

Abortion rights opponents like 40 Days for Life commend President Trump's announcement. This group aims to educate women about options outside of abortion and say they pray for the end of abortion.

The campaign director of 40 Days for Life, Kathy Forck said, “He’s just going back to the status quo, so I don’t really see any problem with that if a company does not believe in birth control then why should they have to be forced to fund it in their insurance plan so I say kudos to President Trump.”

“I just think that everyone has the right to their own beliefs especially religious beliefs and I just don’t think that it is a right thing that you would force businesses who do have a disagreement with birth control to have to fund them," said Forck. "I mean, this is the United States and if they don’t want to fund it, why should they have to?”

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