The U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Two Cases Today Brought by Bosses at For-Profit Corporations to Deny Employees’ Coverage of Birth Control under the Affordable Care Act (the ACA)
PRESS STATEMENT FOR: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
CONTACT: Jaime Chandra, 404-248-5458, firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta, Georgia – The Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC) is keeping a close watch on the hearings at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court will hear today arguments in two cases brought by bosses at for-profit corporations to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee’s health plan.
The cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, could jeopardize access to affordable birth control for millions of women. Janelle Yamarick, FWHC’s Community Education & Advocacy Director noted: “It could also set a dangerous precedent that will spark more discriminatory bills like HB 1023 and SB 377, which failed to pass this past session in our Georgia legislature.” HB 1023/SB 377 would have, if passed, allowed for-profit businesses to deny employees’ and customers’ health benefits and others services they are entitled to under the law, based on the business owners’ religious beliefs. Personal medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, not her boss.
Yamarick further noted, “After decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies, the birth control benefit requires all new insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women — because it’s part of preventive care.” According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 27 million women nationally are already eligible for this benefit. When the law is fully implemented, 47 million women nationally will have access to no-copay birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Birth control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including to control certain medical conditions and to plan their families. Under the birth control benefit, women have access to this important preventive care at no cost.
- The wide availability of birth control has been an enormous benefit for countless women and their families — enabling them to support themselves financially, complete their education, and plan their families and have children when they’re ready.
- Virtually all (99%) American women between the ages of 15-44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some time.
- For many women, birth control is used for a host of health care reasons. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of birth control pill users cite health benefits as a contributing factor for using the birth control pill, including treating endometriosis, menstrual pain, and menstrual regulation.
- Seven in ten Americans believe that health insurance companies should be required to cover the full cost of birth control, just as they do for other preventive services.
The Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC) is Atlanta’s leading non-profit comprehensive gynecological healthcare facility offering outstanding medical care and advocating reproductive health and justice for all. For more information about the Feminist Women’s Health Center, visit www.feministcenter.org.