(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- 10/06/17) Planned Parenthood says the contraceptive ruling could jeopardize the health of many women in the state.
"It’s terrible public policy. It’s bad for women, it’s bad for families, it’s bad for our communities, and it’s bad for businesses," explains Mary Cogut, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Missouri.
The newest regulation gives more leeway to the number of employers and insurers that could qualify for exemptions from mandate claiming a moral or religious objection.
"The biggest problem is there aren’t any other safety nets for them. So if their insurance company decides not to cover birth control, or not make it accessible to women there aren’t a lot of other federal programs right now that aren’t also being threatened by this administration."
Kogut says this is a blow to women's health and warns it could lead to a series of unintended pregnancies.
"This puts those kind of very effective methods out of range for women and that’s exactly opposite of what we want to do."
Over 55 million US women have birth control coverage with zero out of pocket costs according to the National Women's Law Center.
"And before the ACA went into effect one out of every three women between 18 and 45 was having trouble paying for birth control."
Kogut says weakening contraceptive coverage could also take a toll on maternal mortality, community health, and economic stability of women and families.
"We should be talking about what can we do to promote health care to promote economic and education opportunities for people and to make sure we can all live our best lives. This policy does not do that."
That's why Planned Parenthood plans to fight against this mandate and address these issues during the public comment period.
"We will also continue to keep our doors open every day making sure we can provide quality expert healthcare including birth control to our patients."