Center for Reproductive Rights protests

In a massive public comment submission effort, the Center for Reproductive Rights – along with more than a dozen reproductive and civil rights organizations, members of Congress, and allies – recently delivered over a half-million public comments on behalf of individuals from all 50 states to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The comments oppose the Trump administration’s recent interim final rules to restrict access to birth control by creating a broad exemption allowing virtually any employer or university with a religious or moral objection to refuse to cover contraception for their employees or students.

On the last day of the public comment period on the rules, representatives from the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America joined individual commenters in reading aloud public comments in response to the administration’s action. Also joining them were U.S. Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).  

The groups are submitting comments from over 526,000 nationwide. Additional comments have been submitted directly to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury.

“The ability to decide whether and when to have children is a fundamental right, and more than 99 percent of women have used contraception at some point in their lives,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Today, hundreds of thousands of people across the country made it known that women will wholeheartedly challenge any infringement on our rights.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, women were guaranteed coverage for birth control with no copay. Over 62.4 million women have gained guaranteed coverage of preventive services without co-pays, including birth control. Access to contraceptives benefits women’s health and enables them to pursue their educational and professional goals, Northup noted.

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