Senators Cantwell, Murray Introduce New Legislation to Block President Trump’s Rollback of Birth Control Mandate

ICYMI: Seattle Times editorial on President Trump’s rollback - “This is a move in the wrong direction for women, their families and the economy.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, and 41 Senate and House Democrats introduced the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, legislation to repeal the Trump Administration’s interim final rules issued on October 6 that allow companies to interfere in their employees’ health care choices and force women to pay more for an essential part of their health care.

If enacted, the Protect Access to Birth Control Act would ensure President Trump’s rules have no force or effect, safeguarding women’s continued access to contraceptive coverage.

“This Administration has continued to roll back women’s health and women’s rights. Women must have access to vital preventive health care, including birth control, and employers should not be allowed to cherry-pick essential benefits,” said Senator Cantwell. “This legislation protects women’s access to contraceptives and birth control, no matter who their boss is.”

“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 Senator Murray.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), preventive health care, including the full range of FDA-approved contraception, must be covered without out of pocket costs. President Trump’s rule threatens the guarantee of contraceptive coverage for 62 million women across the country by eliminating the requirement to provide coverage for all employers and universities, including for-profit employers, if they have a religious objection. The rule also extends to publically traded for-profit employers and universities if they have a moral objection. Employers and universities with religious objections that previously had to make sure women had another option to obtain contraceptive coverage, would no longer be required to provide that accommodation.

Earlier this month, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued the Trump Administration to block the rule from taking effect.

Full list of Senate Democrats joining Senators Cantwell and Murray today: Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Tom Udall (D-NM).

Companion legislation will be introduced in the House of Representatives by: Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Lois Frankel (D-FL).

Text of bill HERE.