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HOBBY LOBBY: Menendez, Booker Cosponsor Legislative Fix to Protect Women’s Health in Aftermath of Supreme Court Decision

Washington, DC -- Today, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the bicameral Protect Women's Health from Corporate

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the bicameral Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and protect coverage of other health services fromcorporations who want to impose their beliefs on their employees by denying benefits.
“Last week’s Supreme Court ruling allowing employers to deny essential health care coverage to their female workers was a dangerous blow to equality in America,” said Sen. Menendez. “Congress must take action to right this wrong. This legislation will help us ensure vital medical decisions are made by an employee and her doctor – not her boss. We should quickly pass this act to protect health reform’s promise of equal access to care and coverage.”
“Private and personal health care decisions should be between a woman and her doctor–not her boss,” said Sen. Booker. “The Hobby Lobby decision highlights the constant threat to women’s access to health care and why we must go on the offensive. This bill will provide a necessary fix to the devastating effect of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision on women’s access to comprehensive health care.”
“With this bill, Congress can begin to fix the damage done by the Supreme Court’s decision to allow for-profit corporations to deny their employees birth control coverage. The Supreme Court last week opened the door to a wide range of discrimination and denial of services. This bill would help close the door for denying contraception before more corporations can walk through it,” said Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “As the nation’s leading advocate for women’s reproductive health care, Planned Parenthood Action Fund is committed to making sure women can get the no-copay birth control benefit that we and others fought so hard to pass and protect. No woman should lose access to birth control because her boss doesn’t approve of it.”
“Last week, we heard a collective gasp across the country as Americans everywhere tried to make sense of five male Justices on the Supreme Court deciding that our bosses could have control over our birth control in the Hobby Lobby decision,” said Ilyse Hogue, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America.”Today, we hear those gasps turn to cheers as we see champions in Congress move to right this wrong. Ninety-nine percent of American women use some form a of birth control in our lifetimes, and all medical experts agree that these remedies should be included in comprehensive healthcare. Anything less than this amounts to discrimination against women in the workplace. If there’s one thing we can agree upon more than the idea that politicians aren’t equipped to decide for us how and when and with whom we have families, it’s that our bosses are even less so. This bill is the first step in making sure those personal healthcare decision stay where they belong — in the hands of the women whose lives are affected.”
“This critical legislation will protect women’s health care services guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and safeguard their rights,”said Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President, National Women’s Law Center.”Women have worked for and earned the right to have their health needs covered–just as men do. This legislation makes it unmistakably clear that businesses, in the name of religion, can neither discriminate against their female employees nor impose their religious beliefs on them. Bosses should stick to what they know best–the board room and the bottom line–and stay out of the bedroom and exam room.”
The Bill ensures that employers cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about contraception and other health services through discrimination by:
* Banning employers from refusing to cover any health coverage-including contraceptive coverage –guaranteed to their employees and dependents under federal law.
* Stating that all federal laws do not permit employers to refuse to comply with the ACA requirement including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
* Including the exemption from the contraceptive coverage requirement for houses of worship and the accommodation for religious non-profits.
The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act has been endorsed by:
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Sexual Health Association
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Gender Justice
Global Justice Institute
Guttmacher Institute
Innovation Ohio
Institute for Science and Human Values
Lambda Legal
Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Maine Women’s Lobby
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Metropolitan Community Churches
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Council of Jewish Women
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Women’s Law Center
People For the American Way
Physicians for Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Population Connection Action Fund
Secular Woman
The Center for Women Policy Studies
The National Abortion Federation
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
The Women’s Media Center
Unite Women
Women’s Business Development Center
Women’s Law Project
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