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Trump Administration Horse Trades Women’s Health for Religious Special Interests

May 31, 2017

Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Domestic Program Director Catholics for Choice issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s anticipated roll back of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, which expands dramatically the ability of any corporation to seek a moral or religious exemption to deny birth control coverage in their employer insurance.

“Make no mistake: if this unjust rule is allowed to stand, it is everyday working women who will bear the brunt—the nurse at a Catholic hospital who is balancing late night shifts with child rearing; the young student at a faith-based university that must decide what comes first—paying for birth control or paying for books; the employee of a craft store that has to work overtime to pay for birth control.

By allowing corporations—large or small, public or private, religious or secular—to deny women the care they need to plan their families and their futures, President Trump has made clear that religious special interests matter more than everyday working women and men. This draft rule contradicts the values of social justice and individual conscience that are the core principles that guide us as Catholics.

This reckless decision has nothing to do with religious freedom, and everything to do with political payback to ultraconservative voices that do not represent the majority of people of faith. More than 71 percent of Catholic voters want all women to have birth control coverage, regardless of where they work.

This rule would open the floodgates for religious conservatives to seek even more exemptions to impose their idea of what is right on everyday Americans with little to no oversight or checks on their power. This is far from a vision of America that protects its people’s God-given right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”