Trump removes coverage of birth control under ACA

Through history, women have had to fight for their rights. More often than not, they have had to challenge men who do not see them as equals.

On Friday, Oct. 6 President Donald Trump’s cabinet repealed an Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate that had required employer’s insurance plans to provide birth control coverage to employees.

This federal mandate that former President Barack Obama set in 2011 has provided “more than 62 million American women” with birth control coverage according to Planned Parenthood. With the weakening of the ACA directive in immediate effect, women can lose their health insurance coverage for birth control if their employers decide to opt out of coverage based on religious freedom.

The argument that an employer’s religion can be a deciding factor on whether or not an employee has birth control coverage is an argument that delves straight into the protections granted by the first amendment.

This is a direct violation of the separation of church and state, which our country was founded on.

One’s religious freedom should never interfere with another’s reproductive life.

The recent repeal on birth control coverage is simply unconstitutional and goes against the rights stated in the first amendment, which should be honored in all aspects of American life and society.

The Trump administration justifies the repeal by stating, “Imposing such a coverage mandate … could, among some populations, affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way.”

The justification the administration has released to the world is followed by not one single piece of factual evidence— this assertion was made purely out of opinion and religious bias.

In fact, there is no way of proving that birth control coverage leads to “risky sexual behavior” because it is unethical to conduct a causation-proving experiment on birth control.

What can be proven is that nine out of ten women of reproductive age will use birth control in their lifetime, according to Planned Parenthood.

The Trump administration’s rollback on mandated birth control coverage is not solely an attack on risky sexual behaviors, as they had justified it to be.

It is on healthcare, on women’s sexuality, an attack on individuals with low incomes and on all people who identify as a woman.

This ideology adheres to some religious standards on sex and the use of birth control and contraceptives. Now, with the repeal of the birth control coverage, an employer’s religious ties can have an overwhelmingly large impact on a female employee’s personal, reproductive life.

It is crucial to note that birth control is a healthcare necessity for some women.

Not only is it effective at preventing pregnancy, but it is also prescribed to women who suffer from health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, chronic acne, ovarian cysts and endometriosis, to name a few.

The power that an employer now possesses over their female employee’s reproductive life eliminates the power a woman essentially has over her own body, her choices, her health, her freedom and her life.

The fear the Trump administration fosters and those who share the same ideology is clear—it is the fear of women having control and power over their own lives.

This fear can be rooted from many aspects of life such as one’s social environment, upbringing, or even influences from the media.

The opposition of sex before marriage, pregnancy out of wedlock and the condemnation of birth control all reflect that of a specific religion’s standards and morals.

One’s practicing of religious or moral values within their individual life is their right and decision protected by our first amendment.

Therefore, a woman’s decision over her healthcare and birth control within her individual life should always be her right and decision, not her employer’s.