Supreme Court Gives Employers Power to Deny Women Birth Control Benefits | CFHC Press Release

Supreme Court Gives Employers Power to Deny Women Birth Control Benefits

Release Date: 
Monday, June 30, 2014
Contact Information: 

California Must Continue Leading the Way to Protect and Expand Contraceptive Coverage

Statement by Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO, Essential Access Health

"Today's decision is an alarming step backwards for women's health and will deny women across the country their right under the Affordable Care Act to access contraception without cost-sharing. By ruling that "closely-held" for profit corporations can deny birth control to their employees, the Court failed to recognize birth control as basic preventive health care for women.

"Over ninety-nine percent of sexually active women use birth control at some point in their lives and over half of all pregnancies are unintended. That's why Congress required insurance companies to cover the full range of FDA approved methods of contraception with no out-of pocket-costs as part of the Affordable Care Act. Nearly thirty million women have already benefited from this provision.

"Women, in consultation with their provider, should have the power to choose the contraceptive method that is right for them. An employer should have no place in this private, medical conversation.

"Although Justice Kennedy noted that the decision is to be narrowly interpreted to apply only to the contraceptive coverage mandate, as Justice Ginsburg suggested in her dissent, it could have impacts beyond birth control if company owners deem components of a law incompatible with their personal religious beliefs.

"Luckily in California we have a narrow religious exemption upheld by the California State Supreme Court that continues to be the law of the land in our state regardless of today's decision.

"And now, more than ever, we urge the California legislature to continue leading the way to protect and expand fair and consistent contraceptive coverage for California women by passing the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act."