In the four months since Donald Trump was sworn in as president, it’s become increasingly clear that when he pledged during his inaugural address to serve as the “president for all Americans,” he really meant “all Americans who voted for me.”

The latest effort to reward his supporters is a proposal that would allow employers with religious objections to opt out of the Affordable Care Act requirement that they cover contraception in their health insurance plans. Once finalized, the new rule could take effect immediately.

Rolling back the birth control coverage mandate would erode millions of women’s hard-won gains. In a country where 60 percent of everyone who has insurance gets it through their job, the requirement has had a significant impact. Roughly 55 million women now get contraceptives without having to pay any out-of-pocket costs, according to the National Women’s Law Center. “The ACA is saving the average pill user $255 per year, and the average woman receiving an IUD is saving $248,” University of Pennsylvania researchers reported in 2015.

Employers gain, too, because it’s far cheaper for them to cover contraception than to pay for prenatal care and delivery expenses. Improvements in birth control access also have been linked to record-low abortion rates. And study after study has shown that women with the ability to plan their pregnancies have healthier, more stable families and greater earning power.

But the fact-based case for no-copay birth control doesn’t resonate with Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. “There’s not one woman” who can’t afford birth control, says Price, a physician, although a survey commissioned before the ACA took effect showed that the opposite is true.

What Price is more concerned about: The mandate “is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country,” he has declared, endorsing the specious concept that corporations can have sincerely held religious beliefs. Never mind that the Guttmacher Institute has found that 99 percent of American women of child-bearing age who have ever had sex with a man have used birth control – including Roman Catholic women and women who belong to Evangelical Protestant denominations, organizations that have vocally opposed the contraceptive coverage mandate.

What’s at stake is the well-being of millions of women of all faiths who benefit from being able to plan their families. The no-copay contraception mandate has outspoken supporters, too, but they must speak up early and press elected officials to resist this misguided effort to turn back the clock.

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