In the past year, the Trump administration has pushed to limit the use of federal funds for birth control services. First, it allowed states to approve insurance plans that don’t cover birth control. Second, it tried to change federal rules to eliminate a guarantee of such services for low-income women. Hiding behind the veil of “religious freedom,” Republicans push to deny more women basic health care.
FACT ONE: Two different programs account for almost all the federal support for family planning.
One, Medicaid, covers four in 10 low-income women of reproductive age. Among the 20 million women in need of federally funded contraceptive care, 77% (15.5 million) were poor or low-income adults. 23% (4.7 million) were younger than 20. About 73% of the public supports the programs.
FACT TWO: In 9 states, employers can make certain claims to keep them from offering birth-control coverage.
In blocking the Trump administration’s move to let more employers opt out of birth control coverage, Wendy Beetlestone, a federal judge, wrote in December that the administration “has conjured up a world where a government entity is empowered to impose its own version of morality on each one of us.” That ruling didn’t block a separate rule allowing states to do the same. Now 9 states, shown here in dark blue, allow any employer to claim that their religious beliefs or personal “morality” keeps them from offering birth-control coverage.
FACT THREE: Democrats Support Access to Birth Control
Two months before the court ruling, Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, joined 35 Democratic colleagues to sponsor the “Protect Access to Birth Control” act, designed to block the effort expanding exemptions from the contraceptive mandate. She said, “President Trump wants to make birth control about ideology, but let’s be clear: for women and their families in the 21st century, birth control is about being healthy and financially secure.”
WHERE WE GOT THESE FACTS: