by Max Brantley
That assault includes blocking Planned Parenthood from collecting Medicaid reimbursements for a year. This would force the more than half of Planned Parenthood clients who rely on the program to seek care elsewhere, whether or not alternatives exist. (In many places, they don’t.) Medicaid itself, which pays for half of American births, would be severely cut. States would be allowed to let insurers opt out of guaranteeing coverage for maternity care. Tax penalties would restrict individuals and small businesses from buying private insurance plans that cover abortion. And the Senate bill, which would free some insurance plans to charge co-pays for preventive care, would end Obamacare’s guarantee of no-cost birth control.And speaking of birth control:
On April 13, the president signed a law repealing an Obama-era rule protecting Planned Parenthood from state efforts to withhold money allocated by Title X, the only federal program expressly devoted to family planning. (Planned Parenthood cares for about a third of the four million Americans served by Title X.) Adding insult to injury, the official appointed by Mr. Trump to oversee Title X is an anti-abortion activist named Teresa Manning, who has said that contraception “doesn’t work.”Goldberg details more, much more, and comments:
Ms. Manning isn’t the only anti-abortion, anti-contraception advocate Mr. Trump has brought into the federal government. Another is Charmaine Yoest, the former president of Americans United for Life, who has been made assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Katy Talento, who has written attacks on birth control pills for a right-wing blog, sits on Mr. Trump’s Domestic Policy Council. The Trump administration has also appointed Valerie Huber, a former president of Ascend, an association that promotes abstinence education, to be chief of staff to the assistant secretary for health.
Then there’s Mr. Trump’s secretary of health and human services, Tom Price, who has claimed that “there’s not one” woman in America who is unable to afford contraception. Together, these hires represent a familiar Trump administration strategy: putting people in charge of government programs whose goal is to dismantle them.
The influence of the Trump administration’s anti-contraception views is very apparent in a draft regulation, recently leaked to Vox, that would drastically expand the number of employers allowed to opt out of birth control coverage in their insurance plans. If enacted, the rule will allow any employer, even large, publicly traded corporations, to refuse to cover birth control simply by citing a moral objection.
This cumulative attack on women’s ability to control their reproductive lives would be infuriating no matter who presided over it. But there’s an extra shudder of degradation in losing reproductive rights at the hands of a lubricious playboy like Mr. Trump.