Will Contraceptive Equity Make it to the Supreme Court?

With continued debate over the provision of the Affordable Care Act that mandates contraceptive coverage, lawyers for the current administration have asked the Supreme Court to consider arguments this fall.

As the law is written, it requires that employee health plans cover standard birth control.  In response, a number of companies, Hobby Lobby perhaps the most recognizable among them, have sued on the grounds that the mandate violates their religious convictions.

The current lawsuits raise a number of questions that the Supreme Court may have to answer.  In these cases, the court is being asked to decide whether a corporation can qualify as a person with religious beliefs and 1st Amendment protections.  Lower courts have offered mixed rulings on the issue and have also distinguished for-profit corporations from non-profit organizations.

Birth control remains highly effective in the prevention of pregnancy, improving women’s healthcare and decreasing the financial and social burdens of unwanted pregnancies.  Both standard birth control and the so-called morning after pill are solely preventative medications, neither used for any type of abortion.  Extensive research has long proven that birth control is safe and effective for women of all ages, and studies have revealed additional health benefits from consistent use, including a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.

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