outcast104 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

outcast104 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Democrats are fiercely opposed to a plan that restricts access to contraceptives.
President Trump has drafted a rule which will roll back the free contraceptive coverage mandate. This is a federal requirement that requires a number of religious employers to offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans.

This free contraceptive mandate was a hotly contested one during the time of the Obama administration. It is one of the policies adopted under Affordable Care Act (ACA). The mandate led to a number of employer-filed lawsuits. These employers cited religious objections to it.

The mandate has its roots in President Barack Obama putting his signature on the ACA in March 2010. The Obama administration, in August 2011, needed insurers and employers to cover the complete Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptive methods. The president faced many lawsuits soon after. Obama was forced to propose multiple variations of this rule so employers having religious objects could have their burdens lessened. The then president consented to excuse such employers from paying or providing contraceptive coverage, while striving to make sure women enrolled in such health plans would continue to have such coverage.

A number of religious groups, including Little Sisters of the Poor, objected. They said that the arrangements made them complicit in an action which they believe is a sinful conduct. The Obama administration, at the Supreme Court's urging, considered a number of alternatives. However, President Obama kept it unchanged at the time he left office. According to researchers, the provision has far-reaching positive effects. The ACA increased the availability of contraceptives for women. This included extremely effective techniques like implants and intrauterine devices. The result is a decline in the number of unintended pregnancies.

President Trump will roll all of this back to promote religious liberty and free speech. He directed the Health and Human, Labor and Treasury departments to tackle conscience-centric objections to the preventive care mandate awarded by the ACA. Only a few hours later, Tom Price, the Health Secretary, said his department will execute the directive by the president and will reexamine the “contraceptive mandate.”

Senate Democrats are already fighting back. They say the Obama-led law has benefited more than 50 million women. Democratic Senator Patty Murray, along with 13 other senators from her party, warned the budget director of the White House, Mick Mulvaney, to stop any efforts that will inhibit access to the affordable preventive services.

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