Supreme Court sides with Trump in birth control opt-out case

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WASHINGTON (AP/WTNH) — The Supreme Court is siding with the Trump administration in its effort to allow more employers to opt-out of providing no-cost birth control to women as required by the Affordable Care Act.

The high court on Wednesday said 7-2 the administration acted properly when it allowed more employers who cite a religious or moral objection to opt out of covering birth control.

“We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote.

Senator Richard Blumenthal issued a statement condemning the ruling Wednesday:

This ruling is a betrayal of women’s healthcare and rights. This decision, sanctioning the Trump administration’s hateful agenda, is deeply disappointing and dangerous. Instead of upholding the ACA’s essential reproductive health protections, it hands employers and universities unbridled control over an essential part of their employees’ health coverage. Worse yet, this decision opens the floodgates to broader discrimination against vulnerable employees and students under the guise of ‘religious freedom.’ We must fight back against this administration’s appalling attacks against people’s reproductive health.

Statement by Senator Richard Blumenthal

As a result of the Obama-era health law most employers must cover birth control as a preventive service, at no charge to women, in their insurance plans.

Many were shocked that the issue was even up for debate.

“It’s deeply concerning that in the year 2020 this is still up for debate,” said Gretchen Raffa, Senior Director of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Birth control is essential healthcare. It’s not controversial. Nearly 9/10 women in the United States have used birth control in their lifetime.”

“I thought the right to contraception, the right to choose…you know, I’m old,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “I thought this went back to when I was a kid. I thought this was established law, and it just reminds me that everyday you have to stand up and keep on fighting.”

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