FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Megan Perry
Phone: (703) 522-2214
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the contraceptive coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The provision guarantees that all new health insurance plans cover FDA-approved contraceptives, including the pill and IUDs, without co-pays or deductibles.
Hobby Lobby, a for-profit national craft store chain, and Conestoga Wood, a wood cabinet manufacturer, are arguing that this benefit violates the religious beliefs of these corporations and that they should not be required to provide health insurance plans that cover certain types of birth control.
“Religion should not be used as a cover for profit-making businesses to discriminate against women,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, “nor should women be held hostage to their boss’ personal religious beliefs.”
“Religious freedom does not mean using your power as an employer to impose your views on others. If the Supreme Court accepts Hobby Lobby’s arguments, it will set a dangerous precedent – allowing your boss to determine what medicines and medical procedures you will have access to. What’s next? Will the Court allow some bosses not to cover blood transfusions, immunizations, or HIV/AIDS treatment because their contrary to their beliefs?” continued Smeal.
Birth control is basic health care for women. A majority of Americans agree that women should have access to affordable birth control and support full coverage of birth control as a preventive service. As many as 88% of American women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used birth control pills, injectables, the contraceptive patch, or IUDs at some point in their lives. What’s more at least 14% of women using the pill are doing so to treat painful conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or severe cramps, and studies have shown that the pill reduces the incidence of ovarian and endometrial cancers.