The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice bring you another Rapid Response Webinar, where we seek to rapidly respond to government action that may impact civil rights and civil liberties by offering free webinars, commentary, podcasts, social media posts, and other information from subject matter experts. President Trump issued interim final rules earlier this month that will restrict access to birth control by allowing employers, health insurance providers, and universities that claim a religious or moral objection to drop insurance coverage for contraception with limited notice to their employees and students.
The rules—which were issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury—create a broad exemption that enables many employers, health insurance providers, and universities claiming a religious or moral objection to deny their employees, students, and insurance beneficiaries coverage for contraception. Although women are entitled to coverage for birth control at no cost under the ACA, the interim final rules will effectively deny thousands of women coverage based on the religious or moral objections of their employers, universities, or insurers. There is now a 60-day period during which the public is able to submit comments to the administration about the interim final rules, and lawsuits have already been filed challenging the interim rules under the Administrative Procedure Act and the 1st and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.