“Birth control is basic health care that improves women’s health. We believe strongly that all for-profit employers should be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their female employees and that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling is both flawed and damaging.
The regulation the Obama administration issued today was necessary because of that appalling ruling, which allowed bosses to deny their employees coverage for birth control. It is a stark and painful reminder that coverage for basic women’s health care remains at risk in this country.
The new regulation specifies that closely held for-profit corporations are eligible for an accommodation to the federal contraceptive rule previously extended to non-profits that hold themselves out as religious. The regulation allows employees to get contraceptive coverage directly from the insurer or a third-party administrator, instead of their employer.
We commend the administration for acting to ensure that the women who work at these corporations will finally be getting the coverage they are entitled to under the law. However, we are disappointed that the definition of ‘closely held for-profit’ is so broad, which makes strong enforcement even more essential. We look forward to working with the administration to make sure that all women receive seamless coverage, no matter where they work.
When the Supreme Court allowed employers to intrude in women’s personal health decisions, it undermined women’s health, sanctioned discrimination, and took the country backward in profoundly harmful ways. The only solution is for Congress to pass legislation that will ensure that no woman is denied coverage for the contraception she needs, regardless of where she works and what views her boss holds. Businesses have no business using religion to discriminate. It is past time lawmakers protect, instead of politicize, women’s health.”