President Donald Trump's pledge to roll back the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act has started with a rule that would allow religious employers to opt out of it in their employee health care coverage.
The New York Times said the rule is under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget and could become effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register.
Earlier this month, Trump signed the "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" executive order that gave "regulatory relief" to companies that object to an Affordable Care Act mandate for contraception in health care, reported NBC News.
The executive order strengthened the momentum against the birth control mandate started with the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the so-called Hobby Lobby case. The court ruled that the ACA's mandate that certain corporations must provide women employees with free access to contraception was a violation of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said NBC News.
The Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement then that it would fight the Trump administration's decision to gut the birth control mandate.
"President Trump's executive order discriminates against women and robs them of essential preventive care," Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in its statement.
"Without health coverage of contraception under the ACA, countless women will lose their basic right to prevent pregnancy and plan when they have children. Plain and simple: President Trump's executive order will hurt women. And the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court," the statement continued.
But the Family Research Council has praised the effort to against the birth control mandate.
"Finally, the federal government realizes the immoral and insane mandate that forces organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor to include contraception and abortifacients in their health care plans," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said in a statement.
"… This step today starts the process of reversing the devastating trend set by the last administration to punish charities, pastors, family owned businesses and honest, hard-working people simply for living according to their faith," Perkins continued.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.