The Trump administration has been using religion to carry out an assault on women’s access to birth control.
We're suing to stop it.
In October 2017, the Trump administration issued regulations to let bosses and universities use religion to deny their employees and students access to contraception.
The courts have blocked those rules. Yet the Trump administration and the University of Notre Dame negotiated a deal behind closed doors that gets around the courts' rulings. The agreement gives the university the right to ignore the Affordable Care Act, which requires the school to provide its employees and students with insurance coverage of contraception. As a result of the agreement, Notre Dame announced that it would stop covering certain forms of contraception for 17,000 students, employees, and their families.
On June 26, 2018, Americans United, the National Women’s Law Center, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Macey Swanson LLP, challenged the illegal agreement on behalf of a group of Notre Dame students. The case is Irish 4 Reproductive Health v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Whether a woman uses birth control should be up to her, not her boss or university. Denying women access to contraception in the name of religion is discrimination, plain and simple.
What You Need To Know
Birth control is critical to women's health and equality.
Birth control protects women’s health and helps women plan their families; it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it is critical to their health and equality. That’s why the Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover birth control. New Trump administration regulations would gut this requirement and leave countless women without access to critical healthcare. That’s nothing more than discrimination.
The regulations will harm women.
The October 2017 regulations allow any employer or university, even for-profit corporations, to use religion to deny contraception insurance coverage to their employees and students. For many women, especially students, losing coverage for birth control means that they face increased burdens, including significant out-of-pocket costs, to get birth control. And in the end, they may not be able to afford it anymore.
Religion is no excuse to harm others.
Religious freedom is a fundamental American value. So is a woman's right to make her own decisions about healthcare. These new rules betray both.
Employers and universities shouldn’t be able to use religion as an excuse to dictate their employees’ or students’ healthcare choices.
Americans United is fighting back.
Americans United has now represented Notre Dame students at risk of being denied birth control coverage by the university in three different lawsuits. In Irish 4 Reproductive Health v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we are fighting the discriminatory Trump administration rules and a backroom deal it struck with Notre Dame to take away insurance coverage for birth control.
In December 2017, we also filed public comments to tell the Trump Administration that these new rules harm women and are unconstitutional. And we joined our allies to deliver over 500,000 comments from people across the country—including Americans United supporters—who also think that attacking women’s access to healthcare is wrong.
We will continue to fight efforts to use religion to undermine women’s access to contraception. Women’s health and equality and religious freedom are at stake.
The History Of The Contraception Coverage Requirement
This Trump administration rules are the latest—and perhaps most drastic—move to undermine the ACA's contraception coverage requirement. The policy has been changed several times and has been the focus of two Supreme Court decisions (Hobby Lobby and Zubik). It continues to be the subject of court cases and policy debates.
Irish 4 Reproductive Health v. HHS - Complaint (updated December 4, 2018)
Federal Lawsuit Challenges Notre Dame's Birth Control Rules - Associated Press