(PRESS RELEASE)— Members in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives today introduced a bill to repeal interim final rules issued by the Trump administration that threaten to curtail access to birth control for thousands of women. The Protect Access to Birth Control Act was introduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), and Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Lois Frankel (D-FL).
The rules—which were issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury earlier this month—create a broad exemption that enables employers, health insurance providers, and universities claiming a religious or moral objection to deny their employees, students, and insurance beneficiaries coverage for contraception.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Members of Congress have appropriately taken swift action to reject the Trump administration’s latest attempt to rob women of the ability to control their lives and their future. The rules are an overreach by the administration that threaten the health and autonomy of women across our country. The Center for Reproductive Rights urges Congress to pass legislation that reaffirms women’s fundamental right to reproductive health care.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the contraception coverage rules in federal court last week on behalf of Medical Students for Choice and other individual women who could lose access to contraceptive health care because of the rules. Individuals can submit comments to the agency directly through the Center’s website to voice their opposition to these rules.
Earlier this year, the Center for Reproductive Rights conducted a poll that found the majority of Americans support access for reproductive health care and want Congress to share their values. A majority of Americans (59%) think the current uptick of laws that restrict access to reproductive health care is a trend in the wrong direction, and two-thirds (67%) of those people list protecting access to birth control as their top priority for lawmakers.