The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. At issue is the birth control benefit provided under the Affordable Care Act, which requires all new insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women.
After decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies, the ACA birth control benefit requires all new insurance policies to cover birth control with no out-of-pocket cost to women because it is part of preventive care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 27 million women nationally are already eligible for this benefit. When the law is fully implemented, 47 million women nationally will have access to no-copay birth control thanks to the Affordable Care Act. An adverse ruling in these cases could not only jeopardize access to affordable birth control for millions of women, it could also negatively affect the protections that millions currently enjoy under a vast array of anti-discrimination laws.
Birth control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including to control certain medical conditions and to plan their families. Under the birth control benefit, women have access to this important preventive care at no cost. Personal medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor, not her boss.
The New York Times has covered the case here.