Toledo: Contraception restrictions are reversing progress


Hannah Olson/Iowa State Daily

Protesters hold signs relating to women’s health during the Women’s March on the Iowa Capitol on Jan. 21.

Claudia Toledo

The Trump administration’s controversial rollback on contraception is one major step toward decreasing the rights women everywhere have fought so hard to rightfully attain.

What began with a plan to debunk Planned Parenthood has spiraled into a whole new playing field of discrimination. The new rules, which became effective on Oct. 6, allow a majority of employers to deny their employees insurance covering birth control.

Normally, under the Affordable Care Act, company insurers are responsible for the coverage of women’s contraceptives cost free. But since Trump’s new adjustments, millions of women may be left without any form of birth control or they may be forced to pay for the expenses at full cost and out of pocket, regardless of their insurance coverage. To even further the limitations, insurance companies can opt out of coverage altogether. 

As disheartening as this advancement is for the progress of women’s rights in this country, the reason behind the change is almost equally as disappointing. Companies are now able to deny insurance-covered contraceptions based on “religious freedom” and “moral convictions.” Discrimination has never been more visible. 

Spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department Caitlin Oakley defended the decision stating, “The rules are focused on guaranteeing religious freedom and conscience protections for those Americans who have a religious or moral objection to providing certain services based on their sincerely held beliefs.”

But Trump didn’t enact such a law without snidely showcasing the down sides, derailing contraceptives by portraying them as harmful as well as promotional toward “risky sexual behavior.”

The health myths behind birth control that are teeming with unprecedented and harmful side effects have been derailed. There’s much to say in regards to all the good birth control does as well.

Birth control lets women space their pregnancies out in the manner that best reflects the personal time frame they feel suits them for growing a family which, according to CNBC, also improves the health of women and their babies.

It allows women who may be at extreme health risks upon becoming pregnant to best maintain their well-being. Contraception pills are also linked with a decrease in risk of ovarian cancer, protection against sexually transmitted diseases and reducing the intense pain that sometimes comes along with menstruation. And, above all, the equality and freedom that comes along with birth control shows a strong correlation with educational and professional gains.

So, good try Trump, but there’s simply no silencing the benefits of contraceptives or tricking women into viewing our rights as “harmful.” This law may attempt to regress progress made, but equality is a goal we will never cease to aim at.