Trump's New Birth Control Rule Impacts Millions Of Women

Friday, October 6th 2017, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6

President Donald Trump announced new rules that will impact millions of women.

His administration will allow more employers to opt out of providing insurance that includes birth control coverage for women.

All the company has to do is claim religious or moral objections.

The full impact of what this change could mean for millions of women isn't clear.

Tulsa has seen a dramatic drop in unplanned pregnancies and abortions over the last few years, according to the Tulsa Health Department.

While they can't speak directly on the White House's decision, they urge women to start looking for a back up plan now.

For the last five years the Affordable Care Act required all non-religious based businesses to provide access to the 18 FDA-approved methods of birth control.

In that time businesses like Hobby Lobby and universities like Wesleyan University in Bartlesville legally challenged that requirement, citing that it went against their religious and morals values.

The Trump administration is ending the requirement.  

Under the new rule, any employer regardless of religious affiliation can deny coverage if they choose.

In light of the announcement Wesleyan University released this statement:

"OKWU is pleased that the Trump administration has corrected the government overreach of its predecessor and has, thereby, chosen to honor the 1st Amendment rights of our university and its employees. We are grateful."

While the university is praising the administration, Planned Parenthood had this to say:

"The Trump administration just took direct aim at birth control coverage for 62 million women. This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the vast majority of women rely on."

It's not clear how many employers will opt out of the coverage. 

The Tulsa County Health Department said there is still hope for people who face losing it.

"We do take insurance clients may pay however we do pay on a sliding scale fee based on the family income," said Ellen Niemitalo. "We do not run anyone away for inability to pay."

All five Tulsa County Health Department offices provide free or low-cost access to birth control.

But health experts said people can also look to Morton Comprehensive health and Community Health connections as a safety net.

"If someone is needing that service and can't access it anywhere else they can come to the health department," Niemitalo said.

Hobby Lobby declined to comment.