By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4) – One day after women won a record number of seats in Congress, in an election that saw a record number of women voters, the Trump Administration announced new rules targeting birth control for women.
“We’ve seen a systematic chipping away at the access to affordable health care, the access to reproductive health care, since this administration took office. That’s one reason so many women ran. That’s one reason so many women voted,” said Vicki Cowart, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
Cowart says unintended pregnancies and abortions have dropped to their lowest levels in decades in Colorado, as a result of women having access to free long-term contraception under Obamacare. The law mandates employers cover birth control unless they’re religiously affiliated.
But, new rules would allow employers to deny coverage for non-religious moral reasons too.
“Suddenly, women across the country are working in places where their bosses could be the ones who decide whether they get free birth control or not. I just think that’s ludicrous,” Cowart said.
The administration isn’t stopping at birth control. It’s also making changes to abortion coverage.
Current laws prevent state and federal dollars from going to abortion. A new rule would require private insurers create separate monthly bills for abortion, if they cover it.
“These are not government dollars, this is me and you paying for our insurance benefits and now you’re going to have to go through all kinds of paperwork, additional billing or separate billing.”
Cowart says, in the end, it’s young, low-income women who are hurt most.
“Which cause more unintended pregnancies, which lead to higher abortion rates. It’s exactly opposite of what we should be trying to do as a nation.”
The birth control change does not apply to publicly-traded companies and government entities. They would still have to cover birth control.
The new rules take effect after a 60 day comment period, unless Democratic state attorneys general can stop them in federal court. But with judges who have been appointed by President Donald Trump in many courts, that could be difficult.