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Do You Prefer Your Boss or Governor Choose Your Contraception?

Healthcare decisions are personal and yet challenges to women’s access to reproductive healthcare continue to escalate at the state level.

Do You Prefer Your Boss or Governor Choose Your Contraception?

On October 1st, open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins. Individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans in these state-based insurance exchanges as part of the new health care law, which requires coverage at no cost (no copays or deductibles) for all contraceptives approved by the FDA as part of preventative health services for women.

The new law still allows individual states to pass laws banning private insurance coverage of abortion in any exchange set up in their state – 23 have done so.  Eighteen women’s organizations intent on protecting access to comprehensive healthcare that includes family planning services, have filed Amicus Briefs to oppose the provision that allows states to opt out of this coverage and to combat the 77 lawsuits brought by for-profit and non-profits pushing for the courts to allow bosses to make women’s reproductive health decisions.

Americans United for Life claims involvement in every abortion-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade, and “works at the state level to craft tailored strategies and legislative tools that will assist state and local officials as they defend and protect life.” AUL filed its 16th legal challenge (this one on behalf of Thomas Monaghan, founder of Ava Maria University and Domino’s Pizza Chain) to the Affordable Care Act “in defense of freedom of conscience” stating it threatens the religious liberties of employers when it forces them to provide health insurance that includes contraceptives.

Another tactic by those wanting to restrict a woman’s right to choose involves reframing anti-abortion as pro-woman, as in the most recent contraception case filed with the Supreme Court Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. This one focuses on medication abortion and the way that morning-after pills are dispensed. By claiming to increase restrictions on how the doctors use them in order to protect the health of the woman - it ultimately makes this safe method unavailable. If the Supreme Court hears this case and rules to uphold Oklahoma’s law, it could change the future access to reproductive care for all women in America.