Dems introduce bill to overrule Trump on birth control mandate

Dems introduce bill to overrule Trump on birth control mandate
© Greg Nash

Nineteen Senate Democrats have signed on to a bill that would reverse the Trump administration's new exemption for ObamaCare's birth control mandate.

The administration recently announced it will allow most employers to stop providing birth control coverage in their insurance plans if they have moral or religious objections. 

Democrats say the move endangers birth control coverage for millions of women, including those who are prescribed contraceptives for health reasons. 

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“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 — and that’s why Democrats are going to keep fighting back against his shameful attacks on women with this bill and any other way we can,” said Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayDemocrats turn on Al Franken VA slashes program that helps homeless veterans obtain housing: report The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate Health Committee.

ObamaCare requires that employers offer insurance plans that cover birth control with no co-pay, with exceptions for houses of worship and some companies. 

But the Trump rule says any for-profit or nonprofit employer or insurer can stop following the birth control mandate on moral or religious grounds. The only requirement is that they inform their employees of the decision.

The changes also let publicly traded companies obtain a religious exemption, but not a moral one.

Several groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed lawsuits against the Trump administration over the rule, claiming that it's unconstitutional because it allows employers to discriminate against women. 

Four Democrats will introduce similar legislation in the House.

The bills are unlikely to see floor action, as Republicans have mostly backed the exemption as protecting religious liberty.