A new policy regarding birth control went into effect Friday and has left many women with health care concerns.
President Donald Trump’s administration set forth a new policy for organizations that enables it to take away its employee’s birth control coverage through insurance if it interferes with the employer’s religious or moral obligations. This move may prompt a crisis for many women, as birth control is not only used for contraception.
The New York Times reports that roughly nine out of 10 women will use some form of birth control in her lifetime. While ultimately it is not the employer’s responsibility to provide access of birth control to their employers, it must be understood that birth control is not only used as a contraceptive.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that 58 percent of women who use birth control use it to help with endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome or painful periods. These health concerns’ primary source of medication is the use of birth control. For many women, this policy change could make it extremely difficult to get treatment for these health issues.
A report conducted by the former President Barack Obama’s administration concluded that more than 55 million women have access to birth control without copayments because of the mandate requiring coverage. Hundreds of thousands of these women could lose their access to birth control, which for many is a necessity.
The Times reports that the U.S. is experiencing its lowest rate of unplanned pregnancies in 30 years and linearly the lowest rate of abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision.
The longtime goal of women’s rights advocates of removing a cost barrier for those who need birth control has been pushed back by this new rule.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan calls the new rule a “landmark day for religious liberty,” although it feels like more of a step backwards for women who use birth control as a necessity in addressing serious health problems.
Samantha Moffett is a freshman majoring in mass communications.