Sixty-Eight Women’s Right Groups Outline Importance of Affordable Birth Control
WASHINGTON, DC – Planned Parenthood joined the National Women's Law Center and other groups committed to equality for women and their access to health care in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the birth control coverage requirement and accommodation. The Court will decide whether bosses can, once and for all, take away employees’ access to birth control. The brief demonstrates how the birth control benefit empowers millions of women to support themselves financially, complete their education, and plan to have children when they are ready and why the proposed alternatives that opponents suggest would force women to navigate serious and sometimes insurmountable economic and other barriers to obtain contraception. This brief joined dozens of other amicus briefs filed by Members of Congress, other medical provider organizations, LGBT groups, faith-based groups and others.
You can read the brief in full here.
Next month, on the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Supreme Court will review challenges brought by religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations and consider whether they can invoke their religious beliefs to block the health insurance coverage for birth control guaranteed by law.
The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to provide coverage without co-pay for birth control and other preventive health care services like blood pressure screenings, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and routine vaccinations. More than 55 million women nationwide have benefited from no-copay birth control, and in the first year of the birth control benefit it saved women an estimated $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for birth control pills.
Under the law, certain employers with religious objections to birth control, such as the ones bringing this case before the Supreme Court, are already provided a workaround so they do not have to include birth control coverage in their employer-sponsored health insurance. Under this “accommodation,” these employers simply need to fill out a one-page form stating their objection to having to provide birth control coverage, and insurance companies provide the birth control coverage and communicate directly with employees.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"These claims are baseless — and not about religious freedom. Instead, faith-based organizations, who are already provided a workaround from the birth control provision of the ACA, are arguing over whether or not they want to complete their basic paperwork. The Affordable Care Act has saved women an estimated $1.4 billion a year on birth control pills alone — showing the clear economic impact that access to no-copay birth control has had on women’s lives. Where you work shouldn’t determine whether or not you have access to affordable birth control.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
February 18, 2016