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Idaho Planned Parenthood Official: Trump Proposal to Expand Birth Control Exemptions 'Extreme and Dangerous'

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The Trump administration is moving forward with a controversial proposal that could threaten access to birth control, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of American women.

Mistie Tolman, of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, called the Trump rule, which would reverse an Obama-era provision mandating insurance coverage for birth control, "extreme and ridiculous."

"It definitely rolls back progress that has been made over the past decade," said Tolman, who serves as Idaho legislative director and public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Idaho Capitol as part of the nationwide Women's March, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January. - PATRICK SWEENEY
  • Patrick Sweeney
  • Thousands of demonstrators gathered at the Idaho Capitol as part of the nationwide Women's March, following the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January.
According to The New York Times, Trump's proposal "greatly expands the number of employers and insurers that could qualify for exemptions from the mandate by claiming a moral or religious objection."

Exemptions on religious grounds are currently offered to churches under Obamacare, and certain employers can be granted "a more limited 'accommodation,'" The Times reported. The Trump proposal, which is still being reviewed, would expand those exemptions to include "for-profit, publicly traded corporations."

According to the proposed rule, “the government does not have a compelling interest in applying the mandate to employers that object.”

“The bottom line of what it means is that no matter where a woman works, whether it’s a private university or a large publicly traded company, any woman across the country and in Idaho could be denied insurance coverage for birth control based on whether her employer objects to it,” said Tolman, adding the Trump administration was on a "crusade against women. We think it’s pretty extreme that, to put it plain and simple, a woman’s most basic and personal of decisions, to have a child, could now be impacted by her boss.”

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