WASHINGTON ,D.C. – Religion is no excuse for bigotry—but the Supreme Court has carved out a new exemption for employers who want to impose their personal beliefs over the health and rights of their workers.
By allowing virtually any employer or university to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that contraception be covered by insurance plans without out-of-pocket costs, the Court is leaving millions of women out in the cold—and endangering their health.
More than 61 million women currently have ACA coverage of birth control, many of them low-wage workers, people of color, LGBTQIA+ workers, and others who cannot afford to absorb higher costs. Access to birth control is integral to the health and livelihood of many, and its coverage is especially critical as we navigate the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unintended pregnancy can be deadly—it’s closely correlated with infant mortality, maternal mortality, and increased risk of domestic violence homicide. By giving the green light to the Trump Administration’s expansion of the so-called “conscience” exemptions to the ACA, the Court’s decision is creating a health-care disaster, putting the reproductive health of millions at risk.
This decision reaffirms the commitment of NOW activists to take back the Senate and elect more feminists to office. We will be watching this case as it goes back to lower courts, and will be reminding voters this November that the makeup of the Supreme Court has everything to do with their reproductive rights. Today’s decision is by no means the end of this story.