The National Women’s Law Center brief, joined by 68 other organizations, focuses on the rights of the women who would be harmed by for-profit companies refusing to provide coverage of birth control without cost-sharing as guaranteed under the contraception regulations. It analyzes how the contraception regulations further the government’s compelling interests in women’s health and gender equality. More specifically, it explains how providing access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods without cost-sharing reduces the risk of unintended pregnancy, thereby forwarding the health of women and children; promotes equal access to health care for women; and leads to greater social and economic opportunities for women. The brief emphasizes that the rights and interests of the women covered by the companies’ health plans weigh heavily against the companies’ RFRA claims and that the Supreme Court has never held that religious exercise provides a license to harm others or violate the rights of third parties as the companies seek to in these cases.
This report looks at the ways in which the Affordable Care Act improves insurance coverage, ensuring that premium dollars go towards high quality, affordable, and reliable plans. We will also introduce a few of the millions of Americans who will benefit, and in some cases are already benefitting from, these health insurance reforms.
2013 marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that affirmed a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion. Yet, anti-abortion state politicians continued to relentlessly attack this right in 2013, in the hopes of overturning Roe and preventing women from obtaining abortions. In 2013, 22 states enacted a total of 70 abortion restrictions – the second highest number of abortion restrictions to become law in a single year. These state restrictions are a dangerous overreach into women’s personal medical decisions.
Recognizing that when women succeed, their families and the economy prosper, some legislative leaders are taking action to create opportunities for women in the workplace. The National Women’s Law Center applauds these efforts because investment in women’s economic security is vital for women and their families.
State politicians are introducing bills that would allow a boss to trump women's health and women's access to the health care they need by refusing to comply with the birth control benefit of the health care law. These bill sare not about protecting religion. They are unconstitutional attempts to take away women's decision making, threatening women's health and equality.
Women face many obstacles to receiving comprehensive, affordable, quality health care, including when individuals and institutions refuse to provide health care services. Some even go so far as to refuse to inform women about their health care options or even to notify women that there are certain services or information that they will not provide. This prevents women from participating fully in their own medical decision-making. Not only are their rights compromised, their health may be harmed.
The health care law goes a long way toward improving women’s health and addressing the discrimination women have faced in the health insurance market. Unfortunately however, the health care law explicitly allows states to pass laws banning private insurance coverage of abortion in any exchange set up in their state. State politicians who want abortion to be illegal have wasted no time pushing bans on insurance coverage of abortion, making abortion unaffordable and interfering with a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions.
The Center is filing friend of the court briefs in lawsuits challenging the federal contraceptive coverage benefit, brought by employers who want to deny their employees this important benefit. These cases involve suits brought under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. These cases will decide whether a boss’s religious beliefs trump women’s health and women’s access to the health care they need.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that health insurance plans cover all FDA-approved birth control methods without out-of-pocket costs. This benefit is a huge step forward for women’s health and equality. Despite the fact that over 27 million women now have this benefit, some bosses want to take it way and have filed over 100 federal lawsuits to do so. This term, the Supreme Court is reviewing two of the cases brought by for-profit businesses. A decision in favor of these bosses would not only take away this important health care benefit but could also jeopardize other long-standing employee protections.
Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 includes devastating cuts to the health care programs women and families rely on. Ryan would repeal the Affordable Care Act, make drastic cuts to Medicaid, and convert Medicare into a limited premium subsidy. These changes would leave millions of women and their families without the financial security of high-quality health insurance, unable to access the health care services they need, and facing dramatic increases in their healthcare costs.
In the 2013-2014 term, the Supreme Court will review two cases challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) guarantee that women receive health insurance coverage of birth control without cost-sharing. This benefit has been a tremendous step forward for women’s health, and so far, over 27 million women have benefited from it.