Executive Order Threatens Women’s Access to Vital Health Care

Executive Order Threatens Women’s Access to Vital Health Care

Washington – The Trump administration issued a troubling executive order on religious liberty that could ultimately undermine women’s access to health care.

National Health Law Program (NHeLP) Executive Director Elizabeth G. Taylor said the executive action could lead to discrimination against women seeking access to contraception and other preventive services.

“In an executive order cloaked in lofty language about protecting religious liberty, the Trump administration seeks to exacerbate discrimination in the health care system against women,” Taylor said. “The executive order invites the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury to further undermine protections ensuring women have access to contraception and other preventive services at no cost. This would particularly harm women living on limited incomes, including women of color, and would lead to an even more unequal health care system.”

More than 55 million women have access to contraception, well-women visits, and cervical cancer screenings without cost-sharing because of the Affordable Care Act. Contraception helps women prevent unintended pregnancies, and as a result, plan their families and their futures.

Managing Attorney of the DC Office Mara Youdelman added, “The First Amendment provides exemplary protection of religious beliefs, but not at the expense of harming the health and wellbeing of women and LGBTQ individuals. The Trump executive order, however, could lead federal agencies to allow more employers to deny employees coverage for necessary health care services in the name of religious liberty. Coming soon after rollbacks on Title X protections and just prior to the House voting to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act, this executive order is further indication of this administration’s all-out assault on women’s ability to make their own decisions about their health and bodies.”

Please contact the NHeLP Communications department at leaming@healthlaw.org or 202-552-5176 for further comment regarding the Trump administration’s executive order approving of religious-based discrimination.

NHeLP, founded in 1969, advocates for the rights of low-income and underserved people to access quality health care.

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