Employers Can Now Opt Out Of Birth Control Coverage Citing ‘Religious Or Moral Objection’

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Employers with a “religious or moral objection” to paying for health insurance that covers contraception or abortion drugs can be exempt from the Obamacare requirement to cover those things, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.

HHS is basing the change on new guidance Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department issued Friday, CBS News’ Paula Reid reports.

“No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our healthcare system,” HHS press secretary Caitlin Oakley said in a statement. “Today’s actions affirm the Trump administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”

Planned Parenthood of Maryland released a statement in response to the news.

“This is an unacceptable attack on basic health care that the majority of women rely on,” Planned Parenthood of Maryland president Karen J. Nelson wrote in a statement in response to the news.

“With this rule in place, any employer could decide that their employees no longer have health insurance coverage for birth control. We’re talking about a fundamental right — to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children. That is a woman’s decision, not her employer. Nine out of ten women of reproductive age will use birth control in their lifetime. This administration is carrying out a full-scale attack on birth control. We cannot allow this administration to roll back the progress women have made over the past century.”

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