Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt
Donald Trump’s hypocrisy and cruelty knows no bounds. The Administration of our Playboy-in-Chief, who famously said that avoiding STDs while he was dating models was his “personal Vietnam,” has issued a ruling that takes affordable contraceptive care away from scores of women. Women’s health will suffer as a result, and lives could even be lost.
The new regulation, issued by a zombie Health and Human Services Department operating without leadership at the top, will have a devastating effect on women’s health. Contraception is life-saving medical care. Unintended pregnancy is highly associated with infant and maternal mortality. Unintended pregnancy is also a significant risk factor for domestic violence.
The Trump Administration is reviving the old canard, which opponents of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate litigated before the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case, that a for-profit corporation can possess religious beliefs that justify withholding contraception coverage from employees.
But as Caroline Mala Corbin, a law professor at the University of Miami, has said, “For-profit corporations do not and should not have religious rights. They have no soul, and they certainly don’t have a relationship with God.”
Some 99 percent of sexually active women, including 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women, use contraception at some point. According to the National Partnership, an estimated 17.4 million women need subsidized services and supplies because they are unable to access or purchase contraceptive services and supplies on their own. And more than half of young adult women say cost concerns have led them to not use their birth control method as directed.
Today’s cruel and dangerous action by the Trump Administration must be challenged in the courts and blocked from implementation. Once again, we see the appalling truth–the Trump Administration is harmful to women’s health.