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House Leaders on Women’s Rights Introduce Bill to Protect Access to Birth Control

October 19, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Four House leaders on women’s rights today introduced a bill to block recent Trump administration moves to limit women's access to birth control. Co-chairs of the Congressional Pro Choice Caucus Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY), along with Judy Chu (D-CA) and chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group Lois Frankel (D-FL), authored the Protect Access to Birth Control Act to safeguard this right for every woman in America.

The two Interim Final Rules issued this month allow nearly any employer to be exempt from the requirement to cover birth control and other forms of contraception without cost-sharing. The Protect Access to Birth Control Act will treat these policies as though they had never taken effect, thereby securing the right to birth control coverage as guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.  

“Denying access to contraception is denying women access to healthcare. Trump’s rule change to give employer’s a veto over a woman's ability to plan for her future and her family is a cruel policy, and not one dollar of taxpayer money should go towards implementing it. No other medical treatment is restricted the way contraception is, which not only cuts against women’s constitutional rights, it causes harm for the many women who use it to treat everything from acne to menstrual cramps. For them, and the millions of other women who use birth control every day, we must stop this rule from causing any more harm,” Chu said.

“Every woman has a right to affordable contraception, and President Trump’s ongoing efforts to rip this essential aspect of health care from millions is incredibly dangerous. A woman’s ability to access affordable birth control should not be subject to an objection from her boss, school or insurance company. This is simply not right. Birth control is health care, and the Affordable Care Act’s protections were helping millions of women access it at little to no cost. We must protect and extend this progress, not roll it back, which is why it is critical the Protect Access to Birth Control Act becomes law,” DeGette said.

“Contraception not only helps women plan their family in a medically-safe way, it is also used to treat conditions like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. The president’s recent move to roll back the Affordable Care Act provision that has allowed women to access birth control with no out-of-pocket costs ignores the reality that birth control is health care. The legislation we are introducing today would prevent the president’s interim final rules from having any force of law. We need to pass this bill to give the 62 million women able to access contraception under the ACA peace of mind that their birth control will not be put out of reach by this president," Slaughter said. 

"Women, not their bosses, should be in charge of their family planning. Millions of women are at risk of losing birth control due to another Trump action. We must fight to stop him from turning back the clock,” Frankel said.

Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA).