While most women and teens use forms of birth control to prevent pregnancies, there are other uses for birth control. Birth control was made accessible to the majority of women through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) otherwise known as Obama Care. When Pres.Trump took office he released a rule that would limit the contraceptive coverage mandate under the ACA. Therefore, birth control that would normally be given free of charge to some american women may now result in required payments if their insurance doesn’t insure contraceptives.
Healthcare.gov claims “ that the ACA was designed with three primary goals.” First, to make affordable health insurance available to more people. Secondly, to expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. While supporting innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
The first question is, what are women using contraceptives for other than preventative care? According to the Guttmacher Institute, “…based on U.S government data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) … the most common reasons women use the pill include reducing cramps or menstrual pain (31%); menstrual regulation, which for some women may help prevent migraines and other painful “side effects” of menstruation (28%); treatment of acne (14%); and treatment of endometriosis (4%). Additionally, it found that some 762,000 women who have never had sex use the pill, and they do so almost exclusively (99%) for noncontraceptive reasons.”
After interviewing young women on Brenau’s campus, Megan Bullins, Health Science-PreOT Major at Brenau, stated that she used birth control because, “My menstrual cycle was so bad, but now it’s used for both reasons.”
Early October 2017, the Health and Human Services Department issued the new regulations which allow a much larger group of employers and insurers to exempt themselves from covering contraceptives based on religious/moral grounds. The majority of religious groups welcomed the new rule, while various women’s rights groups and medical professionals saw it as a setback to women’s health.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Despite HHS’s officials 99.9 percent prediction, no one knows how many companies and institutions will now claim an exemption and, in turn, how many women will lose access to no-cost birth control.”
Due to the uncertainty of the future of women’s health, The National Women’s Law Center has promised to challenge the Trump administration in court by arguing that the new policy amounts to sex discrimination as well as religious discrimination.
They believe, “it will disproportionately affect women,” and, “it will allow employers to impose their religious beliefs on employees.”