Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that undermines the co-pay-free contraception benefits of the Affordable Care Act, paving the way to allow a greater range of employers to deny co-pay-free access based on religious or moral objections. ACOG has long advocated for contraception access as an essential service to be covered without additional expense, and had filed an amicus brief in this case to educate the Court about the importance of protecting this access from employers’ objections.
This disappointing decision comes after nearly a decade of litigation aimed at reversing the important contraceptive coverage gains made by the Affordable Care Act. It also comes at a time when contraception access is in jeopardy on multiple legislative fronts, including through politically motivated attempts to dismantle the Title X family planning program and exclude qualified providers from participating in state and federal family planning programs, such as Medicaid. These harmful policies threaten to further compromise access to essential health care while existing inequities in access continue to widen.
ACOG CEO, Maureen Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG, issued a statement about the decision expressing the importance of evidence-based policymaking and affordable access to preventive health care. While we are disappointed in the decision that the Court reached, ACOG’s legislative and regulatory advocacy teams will be working on ways to mitigate the impact of this decision. Our legal team will continue to advocate for contraception access as this case returns to the lower courts. You can follow this work in real time on Twitter through ACOG Action.
The Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act once again in the coming months. If you’d like to get more involved in ACOG’s advocacy for healthcare access, join our Advocacy Heroes list today.