SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KSFY) - The Trump Administration rolled back an Obama-era mandate on Friday, that allows women access to free birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The rollback creates two rules -- allowing employers to opt out of insurance coverage for religious or moral objections.
"Fifty-five million women benefit from this mandate and they could stand to lose their free birth control," said Samantha Spawn, executive director for NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota. "The pill ranges anywhere from $5 to $55 per month. The most effective form of contraceptive is an IUD (inter-uterine device) and without insurance that can run about a thousand dollars."
The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) says the new rules, "will not affect over 99.9 percent of the 165 million women in the United States." HHS added that the exemptions will likely only have an impact about 200 employers that have filed lawsuits based on religious or moral objections.
"The President believes freedom to practice one's faith is a fundamental in this country," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on Friday.
And so do South Dakota's lawmakers.
Rep. Kristi Noem issued this statement to KSFY:
“The Obama administration spent the last eight years chipping away at our religious liberties. I am thrilled to see President Trump uphold our constitutional rights and give family-owned businesses the freedom to live out their moral and religious beliefs.”
Spokespersons for Senators Rounds and Thune said both of them also agree with the President's decision.
But advocates disagree.
"Religious liberties should never be used as a license to discriminate, which is what is being done," said Spawn.