The Religious Institute issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to allow employers broad exemptions to the requirement to cover birth control without co-pay in their insurance plans.
Today, the Trump Administration issued a rule that would allow employers to refuse to cover contraception in their health insurance plan based on a “sincere religious or moral objection.” Under this rule, any employer anywhere can refuse insurance coverage of any method of contraception, for almost any reason.
This rule is an attack on women’s moral agency and bodily autonomy. It is rooted in the misogynistic belief that women cannot be trusted to make their own decisions about their reproductive lives. A person’s healthcare coverage should not be determined by the religious or moral beliefs of their employer.
As we said in this past May when President Trump released an executive order that gestured to the right to deny contraceptive coverage on the basis of religious freedom, “This is not what our faith traditions teach. Our faith traditions teach us to care for those who are most vulnerable. They teach us that every person has inherent dignity and worth. They teach us to treat others as we wish to be treated. By privileging under the law one limited religious view of sexuality, this [rule] violates the religious freedom of millions of people who hold contrary views, and harms people who need healthcare that some employers will choose to prohibit.”
The current administration has launched consistent and coordinated attacks on sexual, gender, and reproductive justice—while using religion as a justification. Not only are these attacks immoral and unjust, they are an abuse of religious belief. People of faith and conscience will not allow our sincerely held religious beliefs to be used as a smokescreen for discrimination and injustice.
In 2014, 47 nationally recognized religious leaders released a joint statement supporting universal access to contraception, and affirming that equal access to contraceptives through insurance coverage is a moral good.
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