This month marked 47 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Griswold v. Connecticut, affirming a woman's right to contraception and paving the way for reproductive rights more broadly. However—nearly half a century later—the debate over contraception access is increasingly contentious.
Last summer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new regulation requiring insurance policies to include free contraception coverage (no co-pays), as per the preventive health recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Since that announcement, Congressional and religious opponents of the policy have continued to attract attention— holding hearings, flooding HHS with comments, filing court cases and organizing rallies across the country.
In February, the White House announced a modification to the regulation—proposing that religiously-affiliated employers opposed to offering contraception in their health plan would not be required to do so. Instead, an insurer or other third party would work directly with employees to provide this coverage at no added cost. Hadassah expressed its appreciation that the administration continued to recognize the medical need for all women to have access to contraceptive coverage, and pledged to watch the implementation of the new proposal closely to ensure that is does not create undue barriers to women's access to contraceptives.
HHS is accepting public comments on this accommodation until Tuesday, June 19, at 11:59 p.m. (ET). Tell HHS that you:
- Support the policy requiring employers—including those religiously-affiliated—to provide free contraception access.
- Do not support expanding the religious exemption to include faith-affiliated employers.
- Believe that every woman—no matter where she works or attends school—should be able to make family planning decisions privately, in consultation with medical advice, and in accordance with her own religious, moral and ethical values.
- Urge HHS to ensure that the administration of insurer or third-party contraception coverage is done in a clear and a timely manner and does not create undue barriers to women's access to contraceptives.
Hadassah is a strong advocate for a woman's freedom of choice and opposes any attempts to restrict, through administrative regulations, legislation, or court action, the right to reproductive choice and/or the use of family planning programs. Women have the right to make family planning decisions privately, in consultation with medical advice, and in accordance with one's own religious, moral and ethical values. Preventive health care encourages personal health awareness and early detection— rightfully putting women in charge of their health care.
Hadassah—which has recently joined the Coalition for Liberty and Justice—is also a fervent supporter of religious liberty and is concerned about the use of religious freedom as a way to restrict women's access to health services. The Coalition for Liberty & Justice is a broad alliance of faith-based, secular and other organizations working to support religious freedom, safeguard the protections guaranteed by the First Amendment, and oppose public policies that impose one religious viewpoint on all.
Hadassah has joined with its coalition partners in urging HHS to ensure access to contraception, no matter where a woman may work or go to school. Click here to show your support for contraception access and religious liberty today! Date: 6/18/2012