“Employers are proselytizing by paycheck – and women could pay for it with their health and economic security.”
WASHINGTON — Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO Teresa C. Younger issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing employers to refuse to pay for birth control coverage under employee health benefit plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
“Rather than support religious freedom, the high court sacrificed women’s reproductive justice on the altar of religious intolerance. Today’s decision violates women’s reproductive and economic rights while potentially endangering their health.
“Birth control is preventative health care. Ensuring coverage of contraceptives has meant that more women can plan their families, have healthy pregnancies and healthy children. Birth control pills are also used to treat medical conditions, such as endometriosis, improving the overall health and quality of life of women.
“Contraceptive coverage is not just about ensuring women have access to basic, preventative health care, it also is about women’s economic security. Without birth control coverage, many women would have to pay anywhere from $15 to $50+ per month. Women will need to come up with hundreds of dollars each year to pay for their preventative health care – unless the government provides coverage for women whose employers opt to deny birth control.
“Many – especially women in low-wage jobs – live paycheck to paycheck. This additional financial burden would hit those women hard, as they struggle to access expensive health care while working for poverty-level minimum wages. It is unconscionable for employers to force these workers to choose between paying for preventative health care, like birth control, and basic needs, like groceries.
“Employers are proselytizing by paycheck – and women could pay for it with their health and economic security. An untold number of women could be discriminated against – and denied access to preventative health care – just because of where they work.”
For more than 40 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has secured women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in nearly 100 trailblazing organizations nationwide.