Response to efforts to strip away women’s rights and access to health care

October 2017

Recent actions by the Trump administration have further reinforced its disdain for women and disregard of proven scientific evidence. Ibis condemns efforts to strip away women’s rights and access to health care. These include the following:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services’ new strategic plan has redefined life as beginning at conception.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department have moved to expand the rights of employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception, among other restrictions.
  • The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
  • President Trump has signed an executive order to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health and lives of millions across the country.

The Affordable Care Act has helped millions gain access to health insurance, and tens of millions of women have benefitted from the birth control benefit alone. The weakening of insurance regulations and the new rule giving employers wide latitude for opting out of birth control coverage turn back the clock on health care in this country and threaten the health and livelihoods of women, families, and communities.

Women need more, not fewer, options for affordable birth control and abortion services, and should not be forced to dig into their pocketbooks to obtain essential health care. Women should not be at the mercy of their employers to determine whether or not they can have seamless access to affordable birth control through their insurance. People have a right to health care — health care that isn’t dependent on religious views imposed on them, whether by their bosses or their government.  

We know that policymakers who pass restrictions making it more difficult to access reproductive health care don’t truly have women’s health and well-being as their priority—research has shown that states with the highest number of abortion restrictions tend to have the worst women and children’s health outcomes and fewest supportive policies that actually advance the health and well-being of women and their families.

We’re fighting to increase access to safe, quality, abortion care and the full range of contraceptive options. This includes Free the Pill, the campaign to move a birth control pill over the counter; however, an over-the-counter pill will never be a substitute for insurance coverage of the full range of contraceptive methods