The Trump administration announced today two new interim rules that would exempt, for religious beliefs and moral convictions, all employers and insurance companies—whether profit making or non-profit making—from the mandate in the Affordable Care Act to cover contraception without co-pays or deductibles.

Under this rule, the Trump administration will allow all employers to deny birth control coverage for their employees and their families, and allow insurance companies to deny birth control coverage to all of their enrollees. The Affordable Care Act mandate requiring employers and health insurance companies to provide plans that cover birth control without copays or deductibles would still exist, but this rule would create a massive loophole that could deny women the right to make their own healthcare decisions.

Statement from Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal:

“The administration couldn’t repeal the Affordable Care Act and kick over 32 million people off of health insurance so they have settled for undermining women’s access, not only to family planning, but also to contraception that’s used to treat serious medical conditions.

These new rules are, by definition, a discriminatory attack on women. Women’s bodies and healthcare should not be subject to the opinion of their employer. For right-wing, self-righteous politicians to even suggest so is misogynistic, patronizing lunacy.

Millions of women rely on access to no-copay and no-deductible birth control through their employers, and for students through their universities. Broadening the exemption allows any employer or insurance company with a “moral” objection to opt out of coverage, sending a clear message to women in America: your body doesn’t belong to you.

And while the Trump administration is working to deny women access to birth control, the Republican-controlled Congress refuses to re-authorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, is voting to criminalize post-20 week abortion care and wants to eliminate the mandate that insurance companies cover maternity care. The GOP might insist they’re not waging a War on Women, but the facts prove otherwise.”