Just last week, the Trump administration issued a new health care rule that made it easier for companies to be exempted from covering birth control for their employees on employer-sponsored insurance plans. The rule allowed employers to cite religious or moral reasons for withholding coverage of birth control, and the change could come to impact thousands of the 55 million women currently benefiting from the Obamacare mandate, according to Time. In response to the controversy, Sophia Bush created a viral video on birth control that beautifully sums up why women are outraged by the new rule.
"The rules are focused on guaranteeing religious freedom and conscience protections for those Americans who have a religious or moral objection to providing certain services based on their sincerely held beliefs," Caitlin Oakley, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, told CTV News in a statement.
Essentially, the Trump administration is rolling back birth control coverage for organizations that claim they do not want to support sex outside of marriage or any form of contraception. But the thing is, birth control is essential health care that's used by women across the United States for myriad reasons. Here's Bush breaking it down for everyone:
It's the perfect blend of short, sensical, and sassy, which is probably why it's going viral. But if you want a deeper dive into the details Bush mentions, just take a look below.
More Than Half Of Women Use Birth Control For Non-Contraceptive Reasons
According to a 2011 study carried out by the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of all birth control pill users use the method at least partially for its non-contraceptive purposes. A good 14 percent of pill users (that's 1.5 million women) don't use the method for contraception at all.
Women frequently use birth control to decrease their menstrual cramps, regulate their flow, correct hormonal imbalances, reduce menstrual migraines, and treat polycystic ovaries (PCOS) or endometriosis. Conditions like PCOS, if left untreated, can lead to a higher risk of cervical cancer.
Yes, Women Use Birth Control To Not Have Babies, Too — & That Benefits Everyone
Don't let the focus on non-contraceptive use of birth control fool you. People are focusing on it right now because it's important to note that denying women birth control isn't only denying them access to pregnancy-free sex, it's denying them essential health care.
But that doesn't mean women who use birth control to simply, you know, control their reproduction should be denied coverage. According to The Atlantic, giving women control over if and when to get pregnant is linked to myriad economic and societal benefits, including physically and mentally healthier mothers, healthier children, more economically stable families, and overall health care savings for both employers and governments.
An Employer Or Politician's Beliefs Shouldn't Be Imposed On Others' Health Care
As Bush says in her video, "No matter what reason women have for using birth control, it shouldn't be lawmakers' business. Or your boss's business."
But a constitutional right to religious freedom means individual Americans are welcome to practice their own beliefs. If contraception goes against your personal beliefs, no worries — you don't have to take it. But to use those beliefs to withhold basic health care from others oversteps that constitutional right, keeping others from living in line with their own beliefs.
"Americans hold dear the Constitutional principle of religious freedom, which allows each of us to make our own decisions about our religious or unreligious lives," Planned Parenthood wrote in a fact sheet on religious refusal. "It does not and should not, however, grant people, corporations, and institutions the right to impose their religious beliefs on others."
If you're wondering how to work against the Trump administration's recent birth control ruling, join Bush at the United State of Women for some actionable tips on how to fight the ruling ASAP.