Councilwoman Bass introduced a resolution on Thursday urging City Council to oppose the Trump administration’s recent decision to allow employers to opt out of providing contraception to women employees based on the employers’ religious or moral convictions. The Trump administration’s new rule went into effect last week.
“Once again, President Trump and his administration have proven they are not interested in protecting the rights and welfare of every American citizen,” Councilwoman Bass said. “By relaxing the Affordable Care Act provision which requires employers to provide birth control to employees, the administration is rolling back the clock on women’s healthcare in this country.”
Reaction from the medical community has been swift. On the day the decision was announced, a joint statement from six medical societies, representing more than 560,000 physicians and medical students, asked the administration to “immediately withdraw” the interim final rules and stated that “any move to decrease access to these vital services would have damaging effects on public health.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Wednesday sued the Trump administration for its rule relaxing employer requirements to cover contraception. The American Civil Liberties Union and several other groups have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration in opposition as well.
“Birth control is used to treat several health issues including endometriosis, hormonal imbalances and polycystic ovarian syndrome, along with preventing unexpected pregnancies,” Councilwoman Bass said. “The Trump administration wants to diminish access to birth control, but also take away resources for women seeking help with unplanned pregnancies. These actions don’t make any sense, and will be harmful for millions of American women, especially low-income women and women of color.”
As the resolution states, the National Women’s Law Center found women saved more than $1 billion on birth control pills alone following the ACA mandate, while the percentage of women paying for contraception was reduced to less 4 percent in 2014, down from 21 percent in 2012.
“We will continue to resist the discriminatory and predatory actions taken by the Trump administration. This is not normal, and we have to keep fighting at all levels of government and citizen activism to protect the most vulnerable among us,” Councilwoman Bass said.
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Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.
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