The Supreme Court must stand with modern, mainstream America, and support women’s rights to coverage for birth control. The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance plans to cover birth control as a preventive benefit, without additional charges, a key step in reversing discrimination against women.
The Court must reject the extreme and unsupportable demands by the owners of two for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, for the right to exclude coverage for certain contraceptives from their employees’ health insurance plans.
The owners assert they have this right because their corporations have a religious conscience, a novel claim. If they win, it could open a floodgate allowing employers to interfere in a wide range of personal decisions, and override other laws, including dropping coverage for any contraceptives.
Allies for women’s rights are raising our voices now, as the Justices consider this historic case. The Court is expected to issue a decision late in June.
TAKE ACTION NOW, AND EVERY DAY THIS WEEK, to tell the Supreme Court Justices that the American public is relying on them to reflect our mainstream, common sense views. Contraception is a crucial health benefit. Women have the right to decide which method of birth control, if any, is best for us. Period. 1. Add your comments and your voice on this petition. Why is coverage for affordable birth control important to you?
2. Tweet about why contraception is important to you, and share it with all of your followers. Use #Everywoman, and tell @SCOTUS and @oursilverribbon!
Like #Everywoman, effective contraceptives enabled me to enjoy my education, work, and relationships. All essential! @SCOTUS@oursilverribbon
3. Follow the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign on Facebook and Twitter to receive updates.
4. Encourage your friends and family to participate!
The Facts About Contraception:
Contraception is a fundamental health care service, and a basic public health measure. The ability to plan, space, and discontinue bearing children has transformed everyday life for women, families, and communities. Along with other improvements in medical care and public health, it has vastly enhanced women’s autonomy, professional and educational achievement, and emotional satisfaction, and helped extend their life span.
Nearly 99% of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives, but more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it. Inadequate access to contraception is a key reason why 50% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended.
There are many forms of birth control, with different degrees of effectiveness. The pill, and barrier methods like condoms, may be more affordable, but harder to use consistently and reliably. Longer lasting methods like inserted intrauterine devices (IUDs) are more consistently effective, and are reversible, but are usually more expensive initially. Some women may be discouraged from choosing these methods in response to discriminatory policies against women and communities of color, and lower-income communities. Mandates requiring wider insurance coverage for birth control are associated with more consistent use of contraception.[Magnusson BM, Sabik L, Chapman DA, et al. Contraceptive insurance mandates and consistent contraceptive use among privately insured women. Med Care. 2012;50:562–568.]
However, powerful opponents are attempting to turn back the important coverage the ACA provides, and deny women access to affordable birth control, by appealing to claims for employers’ “religious freedom.”
The owners of the corporations in the “Hobby Lobby” Supreme Court case seek to exclude 4 types of contraceptives from their employees’ health insurance, including Ella and Plan B. The corporate owners say that these drugs cause abortions. As the NY Times reported in 2012, science has established that this is not true. For a more detailed refresher on how eggs and sperm get together to create babies, click on this video by ASAP Science.
The owners also say that this erroneous belief should be protected by the Supreme Court, and give them the right not to follow the law, because it is part of their religion.
They claim that the corporations share their personal religion. Having to include coverage for types of contraception that violate the corporation’s religious beliefs would unduly burden the corporation’s religious rights. And that this burden to the corporation’s beliefs is greater than the burden and discrimination their thousands of employees around the U.S. would suffer due to unaffordable birth control, and the ongoing stigma of reproductive health care services.
These are extreme arguments.
A corporation cannot have a religion. It is a legal creation, not a human one.
Women are people, and would experience tremendous harm to their health and their finances if the Supreme Court reverses the legal right to coverage for affordable birth control.
It would also increase the costs of health care and health insurance, including increasing unintended pregnancies.