For Immediate Release: July 8, 2020
IOWA — The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its decision in a major birth control case, allowing the Trump administration to implement its rule allowing virtually any employer or university to declare itself exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s landmark requirement that health insurers cover birth control without co-pays.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration to put control over people’s birth control in the hands of the whims of their bosses and employers is deplorable. This decision just further exposes that ultimately, the right is really about controlling women and our lives with no eye towards equality or public health and well being.
It’s clear that our reproductive freedom is in immediate peril. That’s why we’re more determined than ever to make sure Trump is a one-term president come November and to hold to account all of the politicians who have greenlit his agenda by voting to confirm his nominees to the Court.”
The Supreme Court’s decision today comes just after its narrow decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo striking down a medically unnecessary clinic shutdown law in Louisiana as unconstitutional. The law threatened to decimate abortion access in Louisiana, where access is already extremely restricted. The clinic shutdown law at issue in the case was identical to one blocked in another case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 before Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the Court. Though the Court’s ruling in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo will allow people in Louisiana to maintain access to abortion care through the three clinics in the state, what we really won was the chance to fight another day—and the Court’s anti-choice, anti-freedom majority means our reproductive freedom is still on the line.
The threat to reproductive freedom presented by both of these Supreme Court cases is part of a coordinated effort by the anti-choice movement and the radical right to attack our fundamental rights in order to advance their unpopular ideological agenda and gain power and control. Leading voices in the anti-choice movement oppose birth control and have repeatedly pushed disinformation about it in order to restrict access to it, even though the public overwhelmingly supports access to contraception. Most voters (75%) consider birth control part of preventive care for women and 77% of women voters want to keep the ACA birth control benefit.
This case puts an intense spotlight on senators like Sen. Joni Ernst for rubber-stamping Donald Trump’s extremist agenda by helping him to stack the judiciary branch with judges who are hostile to Roe v. Wade and determined to gut or overturn the constitutional right to abortion.
With Roe in the crosshairs, the stakes are high for women and families in Iowa. Iowa already has severe restrictions on reproductive freedom, which include bans on abortion throughout pregnancy and subjecting women to mandatory biased counseling. Currently, around 93% of Iowa counties have no clinics providing abortion care.
As the Trump administration and anti-choice politicians across the country target reproductive rights in their quest to maintain white patriarchy and control women, NARAL has embarked on its multi-faceted, largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election. Key to NARAL’s strategy is reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments including soft-partisan persuadable women voters, and low-propensity, pro-choice voters who are motivated by Trump and Republicans’ commitment to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. These critical voting blocs value reproductive freedom and align with the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade.
Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have waged a sustained war on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including its landmark birth control benefit requiring that contraception be covered without copays. When Republicans fought to repeal the ACA in 2017, NARAL and its members mobilized to let members of Congress know we wouldn’t stand by and allow them to jeopardize the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans. Our members made thousands of phone calls and sent 50,000 messages to Congress opposing the repeal efforts, ultimately helping to stop these dangerous efforts in their tracks.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”