Press Releases

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reversal of contraception coverage would hurt Latina health

Press Release
Washington
Alejandra Cardenas, alejandra@caminopr.com / 520.624.7053

Letting bosses use religion to discriminate would harm women, workers, and families

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in the challenges to the Affordable Care Act provisions that require employers to include contraceptive coverage in insurance plans. Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), released the following statement: 

“The expansion of contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was an important health care win for our community, and it’s one the Supreme Court should uphold. These cases will determine whether a Latina employee will be able to make the best decisions for her health according to her personal beliefs or whether her boss can interfere, denying her the health care she determines is best and rolling back the critical gains of the ACA. 

“As outlined in the amicus brief filed jointly by NLIRH and other reproductive justice and health organizations, it simply defies logic to allow bosses to use their religious beliefs to dictate how employees spend their earned wages, including health benefits. 

“Losing this coverage would hurt our community, which already struggles to regularly access contraception. In fact, we know that young Latinas are the most likely group to skip taking prescription birth control because they can’t afford it. Though our community overwhelmingly supports access to contraception, barriers to regular use mean Latinas already face higher rates of unintended pregnancy. Rolling back coverage under the ACA would make it even harder for Latinas to get the contraception we need to plan the timing and spacing of our families, which reduces the risk of maternal death, low birth rate and infant mortality.

“It’s clear that contraceptive coverage doesn’t substantially burden the religious exercise of a for-profit employer, but there’s no doubt it would increase burdens for our community. What Latinas need is affordable health coverage and quality reproductive health care, including birth control, not bosses in the bedroom.”

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.