Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, a bicameral group of Democratic Members of Congress submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in support of Pennsylvania’s lawsuit challenging a Trump Administration rule that would undermine access to birth control for women across the country. Since the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit went into effect in 2012, over 60 million women nationwide now have access to birth control at no cost through their insurance. The Trump Administration rule, which the Members argue in their brief should be struck down, would undermine that progress and deny workers and students across the country access to health care like birth control by letting employers and schools ignore the ACA’s requirement that health insurance cover it.
The brief was led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Representative Judy Chu (D-CA). It was signed by 37 Democratic Senators and 149 Democratic Representatives. While the Supreme Court postponed oral arguments in the case until later this year, the deadline for filing was April 8, 2020.
“More than a decade ago, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to ensure that every American has access to the health care they need, including birth control. But President Trump and Vice President Pence have made it abundantly clear they will stop at nothing to control women’s choices about their health care, including allowing corporations to decide whether or not women can access birth control,”said Representative Nadler.“This regulation is as unlawful as it is wrong, and I am proud to lead my colleagues in once again bringing this fight to the Supreme Court to protect the right of every woman to access the care she needs regardless of her employer.”
“Women across the country do not need someone else deciding whether or not they can get birth control—not their employer, not their schools, and certainly not President Trump and Vice President Pence.”Said Senator Murray.“It’s infuriating that over a decade after we passed a law to make sure insurance would cover care like birth control, we are still fighting against Republican efforts to bring us backwards, but I will absolutely fight this battle as many times as I have to. If people want a clear look at where Democrats’ and Republicans’ health care priorities lie, they need only watch the Supreme Court where time and again we have argued to protect families’ access to quality, affordable care against Republicans’ political attacks.”
“It is outrageous that the Trump administration continues to try to reverse what has long been settled: no institution should have a say in the reproductive rights of women,” said Senator Schumer. “Every attempt to undermine the birth control benefit provided under the ACA is an attempt to undermine women’s health and equality. Women and families know that Democrats will continue to have their backs, and we will never stop fighting for access to quality health care for all Americans.”
“The Administration’s outrageous rule allowing private employers and health plans to deny women coverage for contraception is an outrageous attack on women’s health, women’s pocketbooks and women’s rights,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Even during an unprecedented health crisis, when access to quality, affordable health care is urgently needed, the Trump Administration and its Republican allies continue their relentless campaign to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and its lifesaving protections for hard-working families.Democrats will never stop fighting to protect the health and safety of women and their families, and we will continue to oppose any actions by the Trump Administration that jeopardizes Americans’ access to the health care they need.”
“President Trump’s rule allowing broad exemptions for employers to deny women access to birth control is yet another cruel and unnecessary attempt by this Administration to take away Americans’ health care,”said Representative Pallone. “We cannot allow this blatant violation of the Affordable Care Act to send us back to a time when women’s access to health care was determined by the ideological beliefs of their employers, which is why Democrats are joining together to once again defend women’s access to comprehensive preventive health care before the highest court in the land.”
“The Trump administration has been working furiously to turn back the clock on women’s rights. By undermining comprehensive contraceptive coverage, this rule puts the health and well-being of millions of women at risk. We cannot let it stand,” said Representative DeGette.
“Going on birth control should be a decision made between a patient and their doctor – not politicians or employers,” said Representative Barbara Lee. “This rule is yet another example of the Trump Administration attacking access to comprehensive reproductive care, and goes directly against the intent of the ACA. Birth control is health care and health care is a human right – period.”
“Birth control is healthcare. But unlike all other healthcare, Republicans want to make access to birth control dependent not on her doctor, but on a woman’s employer. No other medicine requires a boss’s sign off, and this move by Donald Trump and Mike Pence is just another attempt to control women’s bodies,” said Representative Chu. “This attempt to re-interpret the ACA is blatantly discriminatory and an unacceptable interference in a woman’s right to make informed choices about her own body, and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship. I’m proud to support this amicus brief opposing the Administration’s attack on women’s health.”
Read the full amicus brief submitted by the members HERE.
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