The Trump administration’s proposed ruling on rolling back birth control coverage is a slap on the face of American women.
As reported by the New York Times, the government rolled back Affordable Care Act protections on birth control coverage on Oct. 6. This was done on the grounds of protecting employers’ religious and moral beliefs against providing birth control.
Already, millions of women who can’t afford birth control to begin with are suffering. To add to those numbers, millions more may also be affected. Whether it’s unplanned pregnancies or medical conditions, this roll back comes with severe repercussions.
To date, approximately 62 percent of women use birth control, according to the Guttmacher Institute. 14 percent of those women utilize them solely for medical reasons, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, or to regulate irregular menstrual cycles. At De Anza, many women fall into the age groups using contraceptives the most.
Moral and religious backers of the diminished coverage argue that having birth control increases the prevalence of risky sex and promiscuity. This argument is akin to saying sildenafil, a drug used to both treat erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure, should no longer be covered because men would use it to have more sex–essentially putting the heart patients health on the line.
When put in the context of men’s health, the entire ruling looks kind of ridiculous. Why roll back coverage for everyone who needs it while focusing on a few people whose lifestyle you may not agree with?
Even if we look at this ruling with the most conservative lense, 77 percent of women using birth control are actually married. And when it comes to preserving life, don’t women that need the contraceptives for life-threatening health problems deserve the medication?
Rolling back the birth control coverage is just the beginning of an entire host of injustices that can result when rulings like this are tolerated and accepted. To take away anyone’s right to access health care that ensures they’re engaging in normal human activity safely, is a blow to equity and justice everywhere.
The fact that America prides itself in separation of religion and state, while also pushing for rulings that mix the two is a joke. If we truly cared about religious and moral freedom in this country, we would make sure the beliefs of one group would not be imposed on another.
Birth control should be covered like any other drug. Allowing every woman the opportunity to access the health benefits of using it ensures America steps in the right direction when it comes to equity. By allowing one group the ability to completely wreck another’s life shows everyone whose lives and influence the Trump administration values most–and that certainly isn’t women.