One of the highest profile issues involving the use of religion to deny women healthcare focuses on insurance coverage for contraception. It has been the focus of two recent Supreme Court decisions—Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Zubik v. Price—and it continues to be the subject of court cases and policy debates.
An Affordable Care Act (ACA) policy requires most health insurance plans, including plans provided by employers and universities, to cover all FDA-approved methods of contraception with no co-pay. This policy was adopted to improve access to birth control, which is vital to women’s health and equality. Nonetheless, some for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations have refused to provide this coverage, and they have filed lawsuits claiming the policy violates their religious freedom.
According to media reports, new Trump administration regulations will create a sweeping religious exemption—any corporation or university will be able to use religion to deny their employees and students coverage for birth control. But whether a woman uses birth control should be up to her, not her boss or university.
We have been fighting and will continue to fight for our neighbors because for-profit corporations and non-profit institutions should not be allowed to use religion as a reason to deny access to contraception. Failure to provide this coverage threatens women's health and equality.