On July 8, the Supreme Court upheld a regulation instituted by the Trump administration that will further limit many women's access to free birth control.
In simple terms, employers with moral or religious objections to contraception can deny employees free access to birth control, as stipulated by the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled by a vote of 7-2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotmayor dissenting. According to the New York Times, the Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania ruling means that 70,000-126,000 women could now lose their contraception coverage.
“Today’s ruling is egregious—people rely on birth control for their health, for their livelihoods, and for their ability to determine their own futures," Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a statement. “The dual public health crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism and violence are pushing people, our health care system, and our economy beyond their limits, and yet today, the Supreme Court has allowed the Trump administration to make essential health care even more difficult to access. Restrictions like this target Black and Latinx people who are more likely to be low income and for whom basic health care has always remained out of reach, because of historic and continued underinvestment in access to affordable care. This decision will only make life harder for the very people who are keeping our economy afloat during this pandemic and fighting in the streets for the right to control their bodies and lives.”
“This is not over," she continued. "We will do all we can to ensure those who need birth control and other sexual and reproductive health care can access it. And we will not stop until that is a reality for everyone, no matter who you work for, where you go to school, how much money you make, or the color of your skin. You have the right to make your own decisions about your body, your health care, and your future, and we will never back down from this fight.”
Reaction on social media was swift, with Democrats like Sen. Kamala Harris criticizing the decision, which will of course disproportionately affect women and families.
This post may be updated as new information becomes available.
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