Posted on January 28, 2014 Issues: Birth Control Health Care Health Care & Reproductive Rights

(Washington, D.C.) The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) today submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. These cases present the question of whether for-profit companies must comply with an important benefit in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that ensures that women have access to insurance coverage of birth control without any out-of-pocket costs.

The plaintiffs in these cases include Hobby Lobby, a national craft supply chain headquartered in Oklahoma with 525 locations and more than 13,000 employees across the country, and Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, a company that makes and sells wood cabinets. The owners of these for-profit companies seek to impose their religious beliefs on their employees by refusing to provide comprehensive health insurance that includes birth control coverage.

NWLC’s brief underscores the compelling and vitally important interests the government has in requiring that insurance plans cover birth control without any out-of-pocket cost to the woman – namely, improving public health and gender equality.

“The ACA’s birth control provision is already benefitting more than 27 million women, protecting their ability to control their reproductive lives and get preventive health services without interference from their bosses,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia Greenberger. “This requirement helps prevent unintended pregnancies by ensuring that women can obtain the forms of birth control that best fit their lives, thus promoting women’s health and participation in society.

“While the companies in this case claim their religious freedom is being violated, in fact they seek to turn the law’s protection of their free exercise of religion into a sword to impose their beliefs on others. Bosses and companies have no business interfering in their employees’ personal health care decisions, and existing legal precedents should lead the Supreme Court to uphold the birth control benefit and ensure that women have the comprehensive preventive health coverage they need and deserve.”

The National Women’s Law Center filed today’s brief on behalf of itself and 68 other organizations representing a wide range of national, state, and regional organizations that support women’s access to this critically important benefit.

The amicus brief is available at:

For more information, visit:

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