Friday, December 9, 2016

Protecting Reproductive Rights Under Donald Trump

New York Times (Dec. 7, 2016): Protecting Reproductive Rights Under Donald Trump, by Editorial Board:

The New York Times Editorial Board notes that although it may be a long time before future appointments to the Supreme Court make it possible to overturn Roe v. Wade, the new President still has significant power to restrict reproductive rights.

If Jeff Sessions, who opposes abortion, is confirmed as attorney general, the Justice Department is unlikely to defend reproductive rights. While the fate of the Affordable Care Act rests with Congress, the Justice Department could stop fighting lawsuits challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement. Under Mr. Sessions, it could stop enforcing the FACE Act, leaving abortion providers with little recourse if anti-abortion extremists threaten patients or doctors or obstruct clinic entrances.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, when he was a congressman, tried to prevent any federal money from going to Planned Parenthood. The Trump administration, under Mr. Pence’s guidance, could stop enforcing the Medicaid reimbursement law that prohibits states from discriminating against Planned Parenthood. And Tom Price, Mr. Trump’s pick for secretary of health and human services and an unwavering opponent of the Affordable Care Act, could as head of that department rescind the contraceptive coverage requirement. 

The Times noted that state governments can step into the breach by passing laws to protect clinics, increasing state funding for family planning and passing laws requiring insurers to cover contraceptives without co-pays.

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