Trump administration scraps ACA's birth control mandate

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One of these new regulations would offer an exemption to any employer or insurer who does not want to make contraceptives available to women "based on its sincerely held religious beliefs", according to the Times.

"This provides an exemption and it's a limited one", said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights.

"We will never, ever stand for religious discrimination".

Brown added that the change also could affect the maternal mortality, community health, and economic stability of women and families.

The New York Times reports that the new rules could come as soon as Friday.

"This administration's contempt for women reaches a new low with this appalling decision to enable employers and health plans to deny women basic coverage for contraception", Pelosi said in a Friday news release.

On Friday, however, the Trump administration rescinded that regulation, allowing employers to exclude contraceptive care from insurance benefits for religious or moral reasons.

President Donald Trump gathers with Congressional Republicans in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 4, 2017.

The rule is the result of multiple challenges to the Obamacare demand that employers provide contraceptives to their employees which were brought by religious organizations ranging from Christian colleges to the most prominent of the cases, involving the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The IOM's decision to include birth control as a preventive benefit set off a fierce political fight, with religious business owners, hospitals, and universities protesting the requirement to cover particular types of contraceptives, particularly intrauterine devices and emergency contraceptives.

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But the policy was controversial from the start. The first rule outlines how an employer can qualify for an exemption on religious beliefs, while the second focuses on exemptions on moral grounds.

DOJ legal briefs also argued that the expansive mandate was necessary to promote the equality of women in the business arena-which is not the objective of health insurance. When they did so, the administration would arrange with their insurance companies to provide the coverage directly, without the employers' involvement.

How will this impact the Little Sisters of the Poor?

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington Sept. 26.

The Supreme Court earlier had held in the Hobby Lobby case that closely held corporations could hold religious beliefs that exempted them from the mandate.

At the Rose Garden ceremony in May, he told the Little Sisters of the Poor that he planned to change the rules. Under the new rules, companies and insurers need only cite a moral or religious objection in order to opt out of the Obama-era federal rule requiring birth control be covered for free for all women. Still, it said, it will accept comments from the public. He made good on that promise last spring when he signed an executive order expanding religious liberty.

HHS officials said they don't expect many companies to seek waivers. Other groups and individuals have signaled they will likely sue the administration over it. But he said it removes virtually all of the arguments the government could use to try to prevent that relief.

The forthcoming roll-back could mean that hundreds of thousands of women who now don't have to pay for pills and devices could once again be asked to do so.

That means they'll find themselves paying out of pocket.

- Mike Quigley (@RepMikeQuigley)This administration just rolled back birth control coverage for American women. Experts said that could interfere with efforts to promote modern long-acting implantable contraceptives, such as IUDs, which are more expensive.

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