Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday blasted the Trump administration for its decision to allow more employers to opt out of Obamacare's birth control mandate.
"This outrageous decision rips a fundamental right away from millions of hard-working women in the workplace, risking their access to the critical healthcare coverage they depend on and have earned," the New York Democrat said. "We have long turned the page on the days when a boss could stand in between a woman and her own healthcare decisions – this decision drags the country backwards. This decision is just the latest in a series of moves the Trump administration has made to undermine and sabotage our healthcare system."
The Trump administration announced Friday morning that employers could be exempt from providing insurance coverage for contraception if it conflicts with their religious or moral beliefs, scaling back a rule created under the Obama administration that mandated coverage for women with no co-pay.
The previous rule faced legal challenges. Businesses with religious owners were concerned about paying for access to emergency contraception and intrauterine devices, or IUDs, which they liken to an abortion. The mandate was attacked by critics as an assault on religious liberty, and in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that as written, it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The Obama administration was steered by the justices to come up with a more narrowly tailored rule, which now has been revised by the Trump administration.
In its new rule, the Trump administration writes that the change is motivated by "our desire to bring to a close the more than five years of litigation." The rules, however, are expected to generate more lawsuits from women's health groups.