Washington, DC—Mark S. DeFrancesco, MD, MBA, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court decision to remand Zubik v. Burwell to the lower courts:
"ACOG is disappointed that today’s decision from the Supreme Court postpones the resolution of Zubik v. Burwell. The Court’s action will further delay the full contraceptive coverage provided by Federal law for women whose employers object to it. ACOG strongly believes that contraception is an essential part of women’s preventive care, and that any accommodation to employers’ beliefs must not impose barriers to women’s ability to access contraception. We encourage the lower courts to adopt a solution that ensures that coverage is provided seamlessly ‘through petitioner’s insurance companies.’
"Access to contraception is a medical necessity for women during approximately 30 years of their lives. Obstetrician-gynecologists see firsthand the medical value of contraceptive services. Unintended pregnancies can have serious health consequences for women and can lead to poor neonatal outcomes. Allowing women to prevent pregnancy until they are ready can help women achieve optimal pre-pregnancy wellness, leading to healthier pregnancies and better outcomes for both a woman and her baby. For some women, preventing pregnancy can be life-saving. That’s why the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that contraception be included within the preventive services requirement under the ACA.
"Without question, contraception is an integral part of preventive care; women benefit from seamless, affordable access to contraception, and our health system benefits as well. Because of this, ACOG strongly supports the contraceptive mandate within the ACA. However, in the face of a religiously affiliated non-profit employer’s sincerely held religious objection, we believe that any accommodation must not burden women’s rights to access the benefit that was put in place by the ACA.
"We hope the lower courts will do the right thing for women and come out strongly in support of women’s health."
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation's leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org