The Biden administration is proposing a new rule that it says would give more women access to free birth control.
“If this rule is finalized, individuals who have health plans that would otherwise be subject to the ACA preventive services requirements but have not covered contraceptive services because of a moral or religious objection, would now have access," said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The administration says insurers were allowed to exclude coverage for contraceptive services due to "moral convictions" and religious beliefs after regulations were expanded in 2018.
The new rule proposed under the Biden administration would take out the moral exemption clause. Religious exemptions would not be changed.
"The proposed rules seek to ensure broader access to contraceptive services by creating an independent pathway for individuals enrolled in plans arranged or offered by objecting entities to make their own choice to access contraceptive services directly through a willing contraceptive provider without any cost," a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 72 million women aged 15-49 are using contraception in the U.S.
Nearly half of all pregnancies are considered "unintended," the agency notes. Most teenage pregnancies, 75%, are unintended, the CDC reports.