All women should benefit from the contraception coverage rule
Physicians for Reproductive Health expressed dismay at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit’s en banc opinion in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius. This decision allows the plaintiffs’ case against the contraceptive coverage rule of the Affordable Care Act to continue. Physicians for Reproductive Health had filed an amicus brief* joined by several medical organizations including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Women’s Association, and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, as well as leading researchers Dr. Susan Wood and Dr. James Trussell. The brief, available here, describes the mechanism of action of emergency contraception and was cited by Chief Judge Briscoe.
Physicians for Reproductive Health’s Board Chair Dr. Nancy Stanwood stated:
“Although this was not a decision on the merits of the case, we are disappointed that the 10th Circuit has allowed this attack on access to contraceptive coverage to continue. As physicians, we understand the importance of affordable birth control to the well-being of women and their families, and the requirement that employers cover birth control without additional fees was a victory for women’s health and the well-being of families. Women should be able to choose from a wide array of affordable contraception options–without the interference of their employers.
“I have already seen patients benefiting from the contraceptive coverage rule. My patient, whom I will call Rebecca, had struggled to afford her birth control pills last year, and when her finances were tight she stopped her pills and was worried about what to do next. She came to see me this year and when I told her about more effective contraceptive, like intrauterine devices, she wanted one but worried her insurance had a high co-pay for an IUD. I was so pleased to be able to tell her that due to the Affordable Care Act, her insurance now would not charge her a co-pay for this crucial preventative health care. She got the IUD and has done very well. All women, including employees of Hobby Lobby, should have coverage for contraception, just as Rebecca did.
“We will continue to monitor the litigation in the 10th Circuit as well as in other circuits, and we look forward to the day when all women will benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage rule.”
*Note: Physicians for Reproductive Health has also filed amicus briefs in the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and DC Circuits.