Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Statement from the Family Planning Council on the Hobby Lobby Case

from the inbox:

Today as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. SebeliusFamily Planning Council joins the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, thousands of other organizations, and millions of advocates in voicing strong support for the contraceptive coverage requirement.  The requirement, enacted in 2010 as a part of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive health benefit for women, gives millions of women nationwide access to contraceptive coverage with no co-pay.
 Under the preventive health benefit, more than 27 million women with commercial insurance have access to contraceptive coverage and counseling, well-woman visits, and preventive health screenings at no extra cost to them, eliminating the well-documented barrier of cost to accessing preventive care.  This coverage helpsFamily Planning Council providers, including safety-net health centers, continue their mission-driven work to provide care to those in need. 
For the last 40 years, Family Planning Council has been proud to support a network of providers delivering high-quality, health services in the five-county region in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  In 2013, over 85% of the patients seen at Family Planning Council provider health centers were at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.  The contraceptive coverage requirement means many of those patients can now use contraception consistently, resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies. 
“The ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement is one of the most significant advances in women’s health in a generation,” said Melissa Weiler Gerber, Executive Director of Family Planning Council. “It has already enabled many more women in our community and millions across the country to access affordable contraception and other life-saving preventive care.” 
Contraception is basic health care for women and has strong support from the American public. It is not just well-established, basic healthcare but it is also supported by long-standing federal laws and policies. What’s more, 99% of U.S. women have used a type of contraception in their lifetime, 89% of US adults find contraception morally acceptable, and 81% of the public supports publicly funded family planning for poor and low-income individuals.  
“A decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the contraceptive coverage requirement would be the right thing for all women, regardless of their insurance status. Ensuring all women have access to basic health care is sound public health policy and good for women, families and communities across the nation.” said Weiler Gerber.   

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