Women have a tremendous amount at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. cases, to determine the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that contraceptives be covered by employer-provided health plans.
These cases will have a profound impact on women’s health and well-being. Birth control is basic health care for women. It allows women to avoid unintended pregnancy and plan their families, and proper birth spacing has demonstrated significant benefits for both maternal and child health. Access to contraceptive services is essential for women’s health, supports women’s economic security, and strengthens our society.
The outcome here will determine if a woman’s boss has the power to decide which health care services her insurance will cover. An unfavorable ruling could open the door to dangerous intrusion by employers on women’s health.
It is truly outrageous that employers – a for-profit arts-and-crafts store, an automotive parts company, a company that makes furniture – want to control the specific services women’s insurance will cover. The Supreme Court should soundly reject this kind of intrusion, which would imperil women’s health.
We urge the court to uphold the contraceptive coverage requirement, and let doctors and their patients decide which health services women need.
No woman should be denied coverage for birth control because of where she works.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.