Such exceptions are the target of at least one of the rules, which "offers an exemption to any employer or insurer that objects to covering contraceptive services 'based on its sincerely held religious beliefs'". The new rules make the argument that the Affordable Care Act does not specifically mandate contraceptive coverage.
In expanding the exemption for employers, the Trump administration says there are many other sources of birth control.
This decision arrives on the heels of the GOP's latest failed attempt to scrap the ACA altogether, the Graham-Cassidy bill, which had also promised to make it more hard for women to access birth control.
"The Trump administration just took direct aim at birth control coverage for 62 million women". The website also claims that 65 percent of millennials believe that employers should include contraception at no cost. "Today, nine months after women across the country marched together to reject President Trump's anti-woman agenda, he has rolled out a tax on their health care".
The Times reported that, according to a study commissioned by the Obama administration, some 55 million women rely on the ACA's employer mandate to obtain birth control without a copayment. The moral exemption would be available to employers that has moral opposition to providing contraception or abortion-inducing medication for employees, including a non-publicly traded company, or a nonprofit even if it doesn't have a religious affiliation. Insurance companies with a religious affiliation are also exempt from the birth control mandate.More news: TODAY'S FORECAST: Sunny, high near 70
"The Trump administration is carrying out the agenda of religious fundamentalists, the biggest part of the president's remaining devoted supporters", said Maggie Garrett, Americans United's legislative director, in a statement Friday.
"The Trump administration's decision today is yet another attack on American women, including the 99 percent of American women who have used birth control at some point in their lives-and especially the 54 percent of Black and 57 percent of Latina women between the ages of 18-34 who have struggled to afford contraception", Thomas said.
"HHS leaders under the current administration are focused on turning back the clock on women's health", said the organization's president, Dr. Haywood Brown. The administration acknowledges that the Affordable Care Act law did not provide protection for nonreligious, moral conscientious objections as required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Friday's announcement follows an executive order in May vowing to "protect and vigorously promote religious liberty".
Americans will remain free to make their own decisions about, and purchase or find coverage for, the drugs and devices at issue in the mandate, and entities with objections will not be forced to be complicit in choices that would violate their religious or moral convictions.
"You don't need nuns to give out contraceptives", he said, noting that until Obamacare's rules were implemented, about 2011 or so, "nobody would have thought the right way to get contraceptives to people would have been to get nuns involved". A number of religiously affiliated schools have filed lawsuits challenging the mandate.