Over the last several months, more than 50 companies have filed court cases challenging the Contraception Mandate—the proposal announced in January of 2012 that requires most insurance policies to include free contraceptive coverage (no co-pays). These companies claim that the religious beliefs of the organization—or even the boss’s own views—should determine what contraceptive coverage is available for all employees.
Every woman—no matter where she works or attends school—should have the right to make family planning decisions privately, in consultation with medical advice, and in accordance with her own religious, moral and ethical values. Hadassah has joined its coalition partners in filing several amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in these cases in support of comprehensive coverage for as many women as possible.
New modifications to the contraception mandate were announced in February 2013 and public comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are due by April 8, at 11:59 PM (ET). Tell HHS that women—not their bosses—should be making decisions about family planning. Comments should be made directly on regulations.gov and a sample comment is included below.
February’s announcement was one step closer to ensuring wide-spread access to contraception coverage. Unfortunately, it also loosened the requirements for exempt organizations, lifting the mandate completely for some non-profit agencies directly operated by religious institutions.
Hadassah appreciates that the administration continues to recognize the medical need for contraceptive coverage, but remains concerned that not all women are afforded this access. Hadassah will continue to advocate for expanded access, as well as an implementation process that does not create undue barriers.
Hadassah encourages is members, associates and supporters to make comments to HHS and share information about the contraception mandate with friends, family and colleagues. Visit Hadassah's website, Facebook and Twitter pages for posts that can be promoted to your social networks.
Certain Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care ActDate: 4/4/2013
(Docket ID: CMS-2012-0031-63161)
Dear Secretary Sebelius,
I appreciate that the administration continues to recognize the medical need for contraceptive coverage—as part of women’s preventive health—and that you are working to provide comprehensive coverage to as many women as possible without co-pays.
As the Institute of Medicine noted, women stand to benefit from preventive health services given their longer life expectancies, reproductive and gender-specific conditions, and historically greater burden of chronic disease and disability.
However, I am concerned that not all women are afforded this access. Every woman—no matter where she works or attends school—should have the right to make family planning decisions privately, in consultation with medical advice, and in accordance with her own religious, moral and ethical values.
It is extremely troubling that the current proposed rules continue to ignore the consciences, religious liberty rights and healthcare needs of many employees. I urge you to support expanded access—defining “religious employer” narrowly—as well as an implementation process that does not create undue barriers for any women impacted by the accommodation.
Again, I thank you for supporting women's health, and I urge you to create a workable solution that ensures women are able to benefit from the health care law as it was originally intended.
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