“It is incredible that, in 2014, we are litigating whether for-profit employers will be allowed to determine whether women’s insurance plans cover birth control. Contraception is basic health care for women, and contraceptive coverage is essential to women’s health. That is why all women have a huge stake in the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. cases, which address the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that employer-sponsored health plans cover FDA-approved contraceptives without co-pays.
No woman should be denied coverage for birth control because of where she works. If the Court allows a woman’s boss to make her personal health care decisions, we may head down a slippery slope with employers claiming the right to deny coverage for other essential health care services as well.
Birth control allows women to avoid unintended pregnancy and plan their families, and proper birth spacing has demonstrated benefits for both maternal and child health. The ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement also promotes fairness in the workplace. It helps ensure employers offer equitable coverage that meets women’s health care needs. An unfavorable ruling would not only hurt women’s health, it would sanction discrimination in our workplaces. The ability to plan families is critical to women’s economic security. Women are breadwinners in two-thirds of households, and a woman’s ability to decide when and if to have children is one of the most important factors in advancing her family’s economic security.
Withholding coverage for birth control is mean-spirited, dangerous to women’s health, and harmful to families and the country. We urge the court to uphold the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement, so women can decide which health services they need with their doctors – and without intrusion from bosses. The Court must not take the country backward on women’s health.”
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.