Published : Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 6:17 PM
Pasadena Congresswoman Judy Chu joined three other U.S. House of Representative leaders on women’s rights to introduce a bill they said would block moves by the Trump administration to limit women’s access to birth control.
Chu and Diana DeGette (D-Colorado), Louise Slaughter (D-New York), and Lois Frankel (D-Florida) introduced the Protect Access to Birth Control Act to “safeguard this right for every woman in America,” according to Chu’s office.
The bill was filed after two Interim Final Rules issued this month opened the door for nearly any employer to be exempt from the requirement to cover birth control and other forms of contraception without cost-sharing.
The Protect Access to Birth Control Act will treat these policies as though they had never taken effect, thereby securing birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
DeGette and Slaughter are co-chairs of the Congressional Pro Choice Caucus. Frankel is the chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group at the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a statement, Chu said denying access to contraception is denying women access to healthcare.
“Trump’s rule change to give employer’s a veto over a woman’s ability to plan for her future and her family is a cruel policy, and not one dollar of taxpayer money should go towards implementing it,” Chu said. “No other medical treatment is restricted the way contraception is, which not only cuts against women’s constitutional rights, it causes harm for the many women who use it to treat everything from acne to menstrual cramps. For them, and the millions of other women who use birth control every day, we must stop this rule from causing any more harm.”
At the U.S. Senate, companion legislation was introduced Senators Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).
On October 6, 2017, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, released two interim final rules to address religious and moral objections to the coverage of contraceptives under the preventive services requirement of the Affordable Care Act.
The interim final rules are effective October 6, but the Trump administration will accept comments about them until December 5.