The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor have announced the finalization of two rules that allow employers to claim religious exemptions to avoid providing contraceptive care to employees under employer health insurance plans. This decision follows the publishing of interim rules in 2017, which were radical in their blanket protection for companies, nonprofits, and any closely held corporations that refuse to provide comprehensive medical coverage to employees.
The American Humanist Association opposed the interim rules in December, 2017, and we will continue to oppose any rules that give special rights to religious Americans at the expense of their employees. Privileging the religious views of corporate owners places a significant burden on people who wish to obtain healthcare, as the costs of birth control methods constitute a significant portion of average income. More than 55 million cisgender women and an unknown number of trans and non-binary people depend on birth control with no co-pay through the Affordable Care Act. The American Humanist Association will continue to advocate for the right to healthcare for all.