Trump has made clear strides toward a major attack on sexual and reproductive health and rights. One angle is to undermine, or remove altogether, the federal contraceptive coverage guarantee. A leaked executive order cites the premise of “respect religious freedom” and includes a provision directing federal agencies to “immediately” rewrite federal rules to exempt individuals and organizations that object for religious or moral reasons to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Women’s Health Amendment (WHA). The WHA mandates health plans to fully pay for preventive services for women—including coverage for the full range of contraceptive methods, services and counseling. The draft order relies on an expansive interpretation of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The impact of this order on women’s access to contraception will depend on individual state policies. Please see the image above for the states that do not presently have protective policies around contraception access. States will need to pass individual protections, mandating that health plans cover:
- 18 specific contraception methods
- Eliminate cost barriers (co-pays)
- Limit administrative red tape (over-the-counter policies)
For more information, read an expanded discussion drafted by the policy team at Guttmacher Institute:
Posner S, Leaked draft of Trump’s religious freedom order reveals sweeping plans to legalize discrimination, The Nation, Feb. 1, 2017, https://www.thenation.com/article/leaked-draft-of-trumps-religious-freedom-order-reveals-sweeping-plans-to-legalize-discrimination/.
Sonfield A, Learning from experience: where religious liberty meets reproductive rights, Guttmacher Policy Review, 2016, 19:1–8, https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/learning-experience-where-religious-liberty-meets-reproductive-rights.