Supreme Court Rules Against Access to Contraception
Today the Supreme Court , in Trump v. Pennsylvania, upheld a Trump Administration Policy allowing employers who have religious or moral objections to limit their employee’s access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Before this ruling the ACA required that all employer based health insurance cover the full cost of contraceptive care, with limited exceptions (houses of worship). This new rule allows employers and other entities, for example nonprofit groups such as schools and hospitals affiliated with religious organizations, that object to birth control the right to strip away coverage without ensuring alternative arrangements for access. Between 70,000 to 126,000 women may lose access to contraception covered by their employers.
SisterLove Inc., along with National Women’s Law Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and National Asian and Pacific Islander Women filed an amicus brief for this case warning of the immense harm that this ruling will have on the communities we serve, with a disproportionate impact on Black women, women of color, trans and non-binary people, and young people. The brief highlighted how the increased barriers to care will jeopardize health by increasing unintended pregnancies and aggravating medical conditions, undermine individuals’ autonomy and control over their lives, and threaten the economic security and equality of women and all who can become pregnant. You can read the brief here.
In these times, having access to comprehensive health care is essential, and the decision today is a move away from these beliefs. We know that a result of Covid-19 will be an increase in unintended pregnancies due to limited access to contraception and abortion. Women who rely on their employer sponsored health insurance should not be punished due to their desire to have control over their reproductive health, solely because of the beliefs of their employers. SisterLove, as a Reproductive Justice organization, strongly believes that people who can get pregnant must have the right and ability to decide if, when, and how they want to experience a pregnancy. Access to safe, legal, and affordable contraception is a necessity and remains essential to historically disenfranchised communities that have been denied the health care they need.
To read more about this case, click here.