The Trump administration’s Friday ruling to allow more employers and insurers to choose not to cover birth control could affect nearly 2 million N.C. women who have health insurance coverage of free birth control.
The move allows more employers and insurers to exempt themselves from covering contraceptives based on moral or religious objections, according to The Washington Post.
The National Women’s Law Center estimates that nearly 2 million in North Carolina and 62.4 million women nationwide have insurance coverage of birth control without out-of-pocket expenses.
That coverage, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, requires health plans to cover preventative services for women without charging a copay or coinsurance.
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FDA-approved contraception methods covered include birth control pills, barrier methods, like diaphragms and sponges, implanted devices and emergency contraception.
“With this rule, the Trump administration is taking direct aim at birth control coverage for almost two million women in North Carolina,” said Jenny Black, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s CEO, in a statement.
In the new rules, the Trump administration “lists health risks that it says may be associated with the use of certain contraceptives, and it says the mandate could promote ‘risky sexual behavior’ among some teenagers and young adults,” according to the New York Times.
But advocates say free birth control helps women’s health.
“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. “We’re talking about a fundamental right – to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children.”
The Trump administration also said that applying the mandate to those with sincerely held religious objections does not serve a compelling governmental interest.