Statement of Susan Sherry, Deputy Director of Community Catalyst, on today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby

(BOSTON, MA) — “Today’s Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby is a major setback for women’s health and access to affordable contraception. It effectively gives for-profit employers the right to discriminate against women and restrict their access to affordable birth control.

“Contraception is an essential part of women’s preventive health care – 99 percent of all women will use contraception at some point in their lives. Like other preventive care, contraception should be covered by insurance without co-payments. Employers should not be allowed to single out contraception or other vital health services because of their personal religious beliefs. Religious liberty is a fundamental American value that not only allows people the freedom to practice their religion, but also the freedom to not have religious beliefs imposed upon them by others.

“While the Court does not strike down the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit that makes it possible for more than 30 million people to gain access to contraception with no co-pay, we are concerned about the women this decision affects, particularly women working hourly-wage jobs. Last year, the IMS Institute on Healthcare Informatics reported that in 2013 Americans filled 24 million more prescriptions with no co-pay for oral contraceptives, which saved women an average of $269 on out-of-pocket costs for contraception.

“A woman’s personal health decisions are between her and her doctor, not her and her boss. This is a misguided decision that’s bad for women and families, and bad for the country. Community Catalyst will continue to fight for access to affordable birth control and for women’s autonomy over their health care decisions.”

 About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.