Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky says President Donald Trump’s decision to let some employers opt out of providing no-cost birth control could threaten coverage for 62 million Americans.
Under the new rules announced Friday, more employers can opt out of providing no-cost birth control by claiming religious or moral objections.
Employers with religious or moral qualms will also be able to cover some birth control methods but not others. Experts said that could interfere with efforts to promote modern long-acting implantable contraceptives, such as IUDs, which are more expensive.
“Birth control is essential health care that benefits women and families across Indiana and Kentucky,” Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky President and CEO Christie Gillespie says in a statement. “We’re talking about a fundamental right: the right to decide whether and when you want to have children. And many people rely on birth control to help with a variety of reproductive health issues, such as endometriosis.”
The new policy was a long-anticipated revision to Affordable Care Act requirements that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost. That Obama-era requirement applies to all FDA-approved methods, including the morning-after pill. Some religious conservatives call the pill an abortion drug, though scientists say it has no effect on women who are already pregnant.
As a result of the ACA, most women no longer pay for contraceptives. Several advocacy groups immediately announced plans to try to block the Trump administration rule.
“We are preparing to see the government in court,” said Brigitte Amiri, a senior attorney for the ACLU.
Catholic bishops called the administration’s move a “return to common sense.”
The new rules take effect immediately.
Barbara Brosher contributed to this report.