Boston, MA

Today, the Trump administration issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that guts the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate by allowing employers to refuse to cover birth control for their employees for any stated moral objection. In response, Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, released the following statement:

“Today’s Interim Final Rule is a new low for an administration already committed to interfering with access to comprehensive reproductive health care. The Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate allows women to access the birth control they need to protect their health, plan their futures, and care for themselves and their families. The IFR unleashed today will let employers decline to cover birth control for their employees for virtually any reason, starting immediately. This puts 1.4 million Massachusetts women at risk of immediately losing birth control coverage.

Protecting Bay Staters against this regressive rule is simple: Pass the Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State (ACCESS) bill. A coalition of insurers and reproductive freedom groups have come together to back the ACCESS bill to protect access to birth control. This commonsense legislation will ensure that women in Massachusetts can hold onto the copay-free contraceptive coverage they need and deserve, regardless of their employer’s position on birth control.

On Tuesday, NARAL member activists joined a broad-based coalition of insurers, providers, partner organizations, and members of the business community to testify before the Joint Committee on Financial Services in support of the ACCESS bill. In the wake of the IFR, the Massachusetts legislature must act immediately to pass the ACCESS bill and protect basic reproductive health care access in our Commonwealth.

Bay Staters needed the ACCESS bill yesterday – before they lost their guarantee of contraceptive coverage. Now is the moment for our Commonwealth to draw a line in the sand and tell the Trump administration that Massachusetts women are not a political football. Massachusetts must stand together to pass the ACCESS bill and protect reproductive freedom.”

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