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National Council of Jewish Women responds to Supreme Court’s decision allowing employers to deny birth control coverage

July 8, 2020

Media Contact
Sarah Garfinkel, West End Strategy Team; 202-765-4290


Today, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration was lawful in allowing virtually any employer or university to deny birth control coverage through their health insurance plans if they have a religious or “moral” objection to contraception. National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement:

“A person’s ability to access birth control should not be dependent on the religious views of their employer or educational institution under the guise of religious freedom. As many people’s contraceptive use is informed by their religious beliefs, denying them access to contraception is a violation of their religious freedom, privileging the views of some over others in violation of the First Amendment. Jewish tradition affirms that access to birth control is a matter of human rights and basic human dignity.

“Further, the high cost of birth control has meant that many — particularly low-income people, people of color, young people, and LGBTQ individuals already facing multiple barriers to care — cannot access birth control consistently without insurance coverage. What the Justices failed to take into account, in a global pandemic and a collective reckoning with racial justice, is that access to birth control is a matter of health equity and social and economic justice. It enables proper family planning, treatment of health conditions, the ability to reach employment and education goals, improved economic security, and so much more.

“Religious freedom is not a license to impose one’s beliefs on others or to obstruct or coerce the exercise of another’s conscience. Our reproductive freedoms are integrally bound to our religious liberty and we are committed to advancing the goals of reproductive justice so every person can make moral and faith-informed decisions about their body, health, and family free from restrictions and stigma.

“NCJW fought for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit, which has allowed an estimated 62 million people to access no-cost contraception. And, despite today’s decision, we won’t stop working for universal access to high quality, affordable, accessible, and comprehensive care — including sexual and reproductive health care — and for the insurance coverage necessary to access these critical services.”

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