Congresswoman Lee on Supporting Women's Access to Contraception
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement today on the oral arguments before the Supreme Court reviewing the requirement in the Affordable Care Act that for-profit corporations include birth control coverage in employees’ insurance plans in the cases Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius:
“As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments, millions of people across the country have a clear message: health care decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her health care provider.
“It’s clear that what we’re seeing here is yet another attack in the War on Women as well as on workers. For a low wage worker, the cost of birth control can be a serious burden, and whether a woman needs birth control for family planning or another medical reason, her boss should have no say over the medication she uses.
“If an employer has a religious objection to contraception, what’s to stop an objection to vaccines, blood transfusions, or treatment for HIV/AIDS? Contraception is essential and shouldn’t be singled out. Religious liberty of employers is important, but so is the religious liberty of the workers! They have the right to live their lives and no one should be able to get out of the law that makes birth control accessible for women.
“When the Supreme Court releases the ruling later this year, it is my hope that the justices reaffirm and preserve this fundamental right of women all across the country.”
In January of this year, Congresswoman Lee joined 90 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief detailing how the legislative history of the Affordable Care Act supports the conclusion that the contraceptive coverage requirement of the ACA satisfies the test applicable to a free exercise of religion challenge under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Full text of the amicus brief and a full list of signers can be found here.