Contact: Amanda Lang, Director of Marketing and Communication
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2014, Washington, DC — The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today urged the US Supreme Court to reject the idea that any employer covered by the Affordable Care Act can assert a religious belief to justify denying its employees’ health insurance that includes preventive health care, including contraception. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in the cases Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Woods Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius. Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, and Conestoga Woods Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, have asserted that federal regulations requiring them to include contraception in their employees’ health insurance plans would violate their religious beliefs and is therefore unconstitutional. NCJW strongly disagrees. NCJW fought long and hard to ensure such benefits were made available when the new law was implemented, and we firmly believe that women should have access to the care they need without any interference from their employer.
“For the first time, the Affordable Care Act requires most employers who provide health insurance to include a range of preventive health care for women, including contraception. As a result, more than 27 million women have greatly improved access to birth control. Such benefits are hugely important to the health and economic security of women and their families since cost barriers have been shown to be a significant barrier to contraceptive access.
“We urge the court not to allow employers to limit or veto a worker’s personal health care decisions by imposing their own religious or moral beliefs on their workers. Those doing business in the public square don’t have a right to ignore parts of the law they don’t like because of their religion, and no woman should have to get their boss’s approval to do what she thinks is right for her health.
“We are proud to cosponsor today’s interfaith rally for family planning and religious freedom in Washington, DC, and also participate in the peaceful rally at the Supreme Court. NCJW board member Rabbi Lori Koffman will be speaking at both events this morning to speak up for women’s rights.”
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.