UConn students express concern over contraception following Trump administration rulings

FILE - In this July 18, 2017, file photo, Seattle Storm owners, from left, Ginny Gilder, Lisa Brummel and Dawn Trudeau, applaud speaker Christine Charbonneau, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands CEO, as she speaks to a rally before the Storm's WNBA basketball game against the Chicago Sky, in Seattle. The WNBA once again leads all professional sports leagues in hiring women and minorities for coaching and front-office positions. The league earned a combined “A” grade for racial and gender diversity in its hiring practices, according to a report card issued Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES). (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Some University of Connecticut students said they are concerned with decisions the Trump administration has made in regard to contraceptive policies and their effect on health services resources currently offered at UConn.

On Oct. 6, the Trump administration broadened the rights of certain employers to deny their employees contraceptives that were once mandatory under company insurance, according to a new interim rule posted  to the Office of Federal Register website.

This interim law was put into place because the Trump administration wants to take different moral agendas into consideration when creating policies for healthcare, according to the website.

“The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,” the website said.

According to Sam Coleman, third-semester allied health science major, this political alteration is unnerving.

“I feel like it is very disappointing because contraception should be readily available to anyone that needs (it),” Coleman said. “It’s a right that women have come far to earn and to take it away is not only disappointing but also dangerous.”

While this rule will affect businesses, federal programs that provide free or subsidized contraceptives will not be altered, according the website.

Melaine Farrell, third-semester maritime studies major, said even with the other subsidised substitutes, it’s not enough.

“It’s genuinely unfair because [President Trump] is a man, so how can he understand what I need and don’t need in my insurance?,” Farrell said. “And it’s not just pregnancy either. Girls need birth control for other reasons too.”

Both Farrell and Coleman agreed that if a potential place of employment denied them contraceptives in their insurance, they would take caution.

“I feel that it says something about the company I’m working for,” Farrell said. “It would make me question their values too much.”

Brendan McLeam, first-semester undecided major, said he only sees positives to the new rule.

“I’m fine with it,” McLeam said. “A company should provide whatever they feel comfortable providing. A Catholic CEO shouldn’t need to provide his employees with something he doesn’t believe in.”

McLeam said even though he recognizes individuals not getting contraceptives as a worldwide problem, it wouldn’t concern him specifically.

For those who may agree or disagree with the interim rule, the programs provided at UConn, due to the fact it is a public institution with no religious or moral affiliations, are not being altered, according to the website. This reassurance makes female students Farrell, Coleman and third-semester political science major Chloe Gannon relieved.

“It makes me feel safe and comfortable knowing my school genuinely cares about my future,” Gannon said. “That’s what it essentially breaks down to. Am I going to be a mom at 18 or am I going to be a mom at 30?”


Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lillian.whittaker@uconn.edu.