Hadassah Disappointed by Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision

Monday, Jun 30 2014

Renee Young, National Public Relations
(212) 303- 8140

NEW YORK – Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., is deeply disappointed and concerned by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

The Supreme Court has struck down aspects of the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate, certifying that closely-held for-profit companies can assert religious beliefs and avoid providing their employees with no-cost contraception coverage. The court decision has opened the door to broadening the contraception exception, potentially allowing insurance companies and third-party administrators to provide contraceptive coverage directly to employees of closely-held for-profit companies, in addition to those of religiously-affiliated non-profits.

Hadassah, which signed an amicus brief in this case, releases the following statement:

It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court first granted women legal access to contraception. Tragically, today’s decision in Hobby Lobby was a giant step backward for women’s reproductive rights.

Preventive care encourages personal health awareness and early detection – rightfully putting women in charge of their own health and wellness. The Supreme Court has not disputed that access to no-cost contraceptive coverage, an essential component of women’s preventive care and overall health, is within the government’s interest. However, it is deeply disappointing and concerning that the Court would allow an employer’s religious beliefs to supersede women’s health and the right of women to make their own health care decisions.

Hadassah remains concerned that religious exceptions to the contraception mandate create undue barriers for women. This court ruling still leaves open the possibility that employers can avoid compliance with the current religious exception because they claim the process is too onerous.

We will continue to work with the Obama administration and Congress to ensure that whatever new policies are proposed to address this decision are in the best interest of women and families.

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women's Zionist Jewish membership organization in the United States, and was founded in 1912. 330,000 members, associates, and supporters strong, Hadassah is now in its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women's empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world.

Hadassah is a pioneer in women’s health care – providing comprehensive preventive services and multidisciplinary care. Hadassah also has a long history advocating for quality, affordable health care in the United States. Hadassah is a staunch advocate for reproductive choice and affirms that women deserve the right to make family planning decisions privately, in consultation with medical advice, and in accordance with their own religious, moral and ethical values.

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Hadassah is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters across the country, Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on criticalissues such as medical care and research, women's empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.

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