NCJW Dismayed at Continued Attempts to Deny Women Birth Control Coverage Under Affordable Care Act

January 3, 2014, Washington, DC —In the wake of recent challenges to the Administration’s accommodation for religiously affiliated institutions regarding birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Nancy K. Kaufman issued the following statement:

“NCJW worked hard to ensure that birth control — an important and basic component of women’s health — was included in the preventive health care package of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Obama Administration has gone out of its way to accommodate the objections of those employers who oppose this coverage on religious grounds — farther, in fact, than NCJW thinks is necessary. Under the accommodation, religiously affiliated organizations and institutions can certify that they hold certain religious views in order to be left out of the process of arranging contraceptive coverage for their workers. Coverage would be arranged and provided with no added cost by a third party — establishing a means for providing women who do not share their employers’ beliefs with this important health benefit.

“The objections brought by the order of nuns who own and operate nursing homes, Little Sisters of the Poor, is hollow. Because of the way they are insured, they are not compelled to cover birth control for their employees. NCJW continues to be concerned that the religious liberty of the many women who work at these nursing homes is being ignored. The employees who will not be able to access affordable contraceptive coverage will be prevented from making their own moral and religious decisions about this health care.

“NCJW is pleased that the Obama Administration has once again strongly defended coverage of this vital preventive health care. Moving forward, the Administration should stand firm, and the Supreme Court should ensure full implementation of this ACA provision, so that as many women as possible can access this coverage regardless of their employers’ religious views.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

Contact: Brianne Nadeau

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