Controversial Supreme Court Cases Reveal Need For Access to Contraception

Today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two cases challenging the contraception mandate of Obamacare.

As Real Republicans, we have been very concerned about Obamacare and its troubled implementation, particularly how struggling small businesses will be affected by the individual mandate –  but we know that access to effective preventive medicine prevents unintended pregnancies and saves taxpayer dollars. 

That’s right. Preventive care saves us all expenses in the long term!

Under the current rules, exemptions from providing full coverage are already in place for religiously affiliated organizations, but both of the cases being heard today were brought by for-profit businesses claiming their religious freedom is being violated by allowing their employees access to contraception through their basic prescription coverage.

The outcome of both of these decisions could have a drastic impact on healthcare coverage for many female workers.  Without the full coverage of healthcare services that their male colleagues enjoy, many women may not be able to afford the most effective forms of contraception, which are also the most expensive, and some women will not be able to afford birth control at all. 

Public opinion on the issue of contraception coverage is relatively clear: a recent poll revealed that over half of Americans believe for-profit corporations should have to provide contraception coverage for their employees.  The majority opinion also reflects the fact that most women, no matter their personal faith, will use birth control in their lifetime.  

Increasing access to preventive reproductive healthcare like affordable contraception gives individuals the tools to make smart decisions and take responsibility for themselves and their families – it also greatly reduces the rate and incidence of abortion nationwide. 

Although these cases will have an enormous impact on women’s health, they will likely be decided primarily over the issue of business rights. The hearings this morning revealed a focus on corporations, and the justices seemed decidedly split over whether companies do or do not enjoy specific religious rights.  No matter what the Supreme Court ultimately concludes, the cases do highlight the ongoing need for birth control access.      Image

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