President Donald Trump‘s unyielding assault on all things Obamacare continues after officials at the US Department of Health and Human Services posted new rules that could allow employers to do away with a birth control mandate. Under the proposed rules, employers can now deny women birth control on religious or moral grounds, doing away with the current mandate which is now considered a preventative service.
The Trump administration is rolling back the Obama-era requirement that employer-provided health insurance policies cover birth control methods at no cost to women.
According to senior officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the new rule is to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude the coverage for contraception if it has a religious or moral objection.
“This provides an exemption, and it’s a limited one,” said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights. “We should have space for organizations to live out their religious identity and not face discrimination.”
He said he expects that most companies will continue to provide coverage for birth control and that the changes will only affect a tiny percentage of U.S. women. The new rules are being published Friday in the Federal Register and go into effect immediately.
The outlet adds in its report that this will open the floor for employers to exploit the loophole and deny birth control coverage. Trump made a vow to a Catholic group The Little Sisters of the Poor, comprised of nuns who launched a lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration regarding the birth control mandate.