[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined 33 Senate and House Democrats, led by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), in introducing the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, legislation to rescind a Trump Administration rule issued on October 6 that allows companies to interfere in their employees’ reproductive health care choices, forcing women to pay more for contraception, an essential part of their health care.
The Protect Access to Birth Control Act would ensure President Trump’s rules have no force or effect, safeguarding women’s continued access to contraceptive coverage.
“The Protect Access to Birth Control Act defends women’s freedom to access contraception at their own discretion - not at the whim of an employer,” said Blumenthal. “President Trump’s ruling is the latest in a long list of unconscionable steps that stand to devastate the financial, physical, and psychological wellbeing of American women and their families. Access to affordable contraception has saved billions of dollars, reduced unintended pregnancies, and improved the health of nearly 62 million women nationwide. It’s time we fight back against this misguided action by the Administration.”
“It’s pretty simple. Women should be able to get birth control, and bosses shouldn’t be able to force their beliefs or political agendas on their employees,” said Murphy. “The Affordable Care Act helped over 756,000 women in Connecticut and millions more across the country afford birth control. We want to do everything we can to stop President Trump’s latest effort to sabotage women’s health care.”
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), preventive health care, including the full range of FDA-approved contraception, must be covered without out of pocket costs. President Trump’s rule threatens the guarantee of contraceptive coverage for 62 million women across the country by eliminating the requirement to provide coverage for all employers and universities, including for-profit employers, if they have a religious objection. The rule also extends to publically traded for-profit employers and universities if they have a moral objection. Employers and universities with religious objections that previously had to make sure women had another option to obtain contraceptive coverage would no longer be required to provide that accommodation.
Blumenthal, Murphy, Murray, and Casey were joined by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Corey Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD in introducing the legislation.
Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA) and Lois Frankel (D-FL).