Letter

Students and staff at the University of Notre Dame are being illegally denied the birth control coverage they’re entitled to under law. After Notre Dame teamed up with the Trump-Pence administration in a secret agreement to stop providing coverage, Notre Dame students came together to fight back. Alongside Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the National Women’s Law Center is partnering with these students—a student group, Irish 4 Reproductive Health—to sue the Trump-Pence administration and the University of Notre Dame. Now, students at other religiously-affiliated universities are joining the chorus of voices demanding that Notre Dame start providing students and staff with the birth control coverage the Affordable Care Act birth control benefit guarantees them.

Read their letter to the students at Notre Dame fighting for change below.  

Letter to Irish 4 Reproductive HealthDear Irish 4 Reproductive Health:

Most of us haven’t been lucky enough to meet you yet, but we have a lot in common. Like you, we’re student groups focused on reproductive rights at religiously affiliated universities.

One key difference? Our schools haven’t broken the law to circumvent the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit.

But that’s just what leaders at your school, Notre Dame, did when they made a backroom deal with the Trump-Pence administration to take away birth control coverage.

They weren’t expecting your courage, your resolve, or your tenacity. They weren’t expecting you to speak up for yourselves — and for all those at your school who can’t. They certainly weren’t expecting a lawsuit — but you’re not called the “Fighting Irish” for nothing.

You know your rights. You also know what a difference the right form of birth control can make for your health and well-being, and that no administrator’s opinion — from the Dome to the White House —should impact your private medical decisions.

We’re with you. We know that attending a religiously affiliated university doesn’t mean signing away your right to access birth control options like the copper IUD or emergency contraception, which is often used by survivors of sexual assault.

No politician, boss, or university president should be allowed to determine your birth control options. Not now, not ever.

By taking on this fight, you’ve inspired us all. And when you win, it will be for all of us — not just for students at religiously affiliated schools, not just for reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates, but for everyone whose rights are on the line.

Thank you.

Fight on,

H*yas for Choice, Georgetown University
If/When/How, Seattle University School of Law
If/When/How, School of Law: Loyola University Chicago
If/When/How, Boston College Law School
If/When/How, Georgetown University Law Center
Students for Reproductive Justice, Loyola University Chicago
Students for Sexual Health, Boston College

Published On: May 8, 2019Associated Issues: Birth ControlHealth Care & Reproductive Rights
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