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“These claims are baseless — and not about religious freedom”

Washington, DC— Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court received supplemental briefs in Zubik v. Burwell, the case that will decide, once and for all, whether bosses can take away employees’ access to birth control. Their employers, who are already provided a workaround from the birth control provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are arguing whether they must complete basic paperwork.   

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“As we have said all along: These claims are baseless, and not about religious freedom. This case is about preventing women from using their own health insurance plans to access birth control. Right now, under federal law, women have seamless access to birth control. As a result, women have saved an estimated $1.4 billion a year.

“The plaintiffs in these cases have one mission: to break seamless access to birth control. The employers behind these lawsuits are already provided a workaround from the birth control provision of the ACA. No one has proposed a workable alternative that will not jeopardize the access that women have today.

“Where you work shouldn’t determine whether or not you have access to affordable birth control. Planned Parenthood will keep fighting for the right to birth control, no matter who your boss is.”

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 access to 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 who have brought these cases 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 (or send a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services) stating their objection to having to provide birth control coverage, and insurance companies directly provide employees birth control at no cost.


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


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


April 21, 2016