(JTA) — Jewish groups oppose a Trump administration ruling that says employers who claim providing contraception in their health care coverage violates their religious or moral beliefs do not have to do so.
The exceptions to the Affordable Care Act’s promise of no-cost contraceptive coverage were announced on Friday by the Health and Human Services Department.
The new rules broaden the entities that may claim religious objections to providing contraceptive coverage to include both nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies.
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, in a statement called the rollback of the contraception mandate “an egregious assault on women’s rights.”
“The Trump Administration has once again chosen religious interests over women’s health,” National Council of Jewish Women CEO Nancy K. Kaufman said in a statement.
“There are differing religious views on the use of contraception, and it should be up to women to decide on whether and when to use contraception based on their own beliefs and needs. By allowing employers with religious or moral objections to deny coverage of birth control to its employees, the beliefs of an employer are once again being held in higher regard than the religious and moral beliefs of the employee. On this most-personal decision, no woman should be forced to abide by the religious views of her or her insured spouse’s employer,” she also said.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that it was illegal to require the providing of contraception for employees on “closely held corporations” such as Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain. Its Christian owners had objected to paying to provide several kinds of the birth control that must be covered under ACA.