The Trump Administration has proposed increasing an employer’s right to restrict birth control access to female employees based on religious differences, according to the New York Times. New rules on the measure were revealed this week, which allow an employer to obtain an exemption for providing access to the contraception.
The administration cited public health centers and the family planning program of 1970, under Title X, as a way women can quality for birth control without their employer’s help. The decision to encourage more attendance at healthcare clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, could present a problem, as these clinics are already overbooked and underfunded.
President Donald Trump also proposed axing the requirement that public healthcare clinics must provide information on abortion. The administration noted the Title X funding allowed to these clinics will only be provided to“health care providers who refuse to participate in abortion-related activity such as counseling and referrals,” meaning if a healthcare clinic continues to participate in sharing any information about abortion, they will not be given federal funding.
In May, he told an anti-abortion group his goal was to “prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions.”
The proposal also notes healthcare clinics are not required to provide every variety of contraception. Employers, however, as of current federal regulation, are required to cover all methods of contraception. It also eliminates the language “medically approved” from the current healthcare provider’s federal stipulation to provide “medically approved family planning methods.”
In August, Trump shortened the funding period for institutions of this nature according to Fortune. Instead of allowing three years of grant-funding, Trump limited the time period to seven months. Many Republicans are against government funding of the public healthcare clinics because some provide abortions. Abortions are not federally funded.
Institutions, like Planned Parenthood, reserve the right to treat lower income patients before anyone else. To be considered a low-income patient, the household income must be below $20,780 for a family of three, according to the New York Times. Trump’s new proposal allows any employee who is rejected birth control through their workplace to automatically identify as a low-income patient.
The Trump administration noted these changes would “preserve conscience protections” while allowing comprehensive, low-cost care to all women.
President and Chief Executive of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Clare Coleman, said these changes would “hijack Title X programs and use their limited federal funds to subsidize employers’ refusal to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement.”