March 27 2014
By Molly Seder
WASHINGTON (VR) – Should the government force employers offering employees health care to only subscribe to policies that cover a spectrum of birth control? Is it fair to force employers to contribute to controversial medications like “Plan B” pills and IUDs?
Under the Affordable Care Act, that’s law of the land with few exceptions. But the Supreme Court could change that.
The nation’s highest court heard two cases yesterday challenging regulations requiring all insurance to cover birth control. Two companies argued it violates their religious rights.
Outside the court house Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said the case is about women's rights.
“I really believe that this court understood that women have the right to make their own decisions about their health care and their birth control. And it's not their boss' decision,” Richards said.
And Terry O’Neill, the President of the National Organization of Women, told VR that no employer can quote “claim religion as an excuse for simple bigotry against women.”
But Hadley Heath, the director of health policy at the Independent Women’s Forum, disagrees. She says it’s not about women’s rights but rather women’s choices.
She says women can still buy birth control even if the Supreme Court strikes down that part of the Affordable Care Act. Employees “can choose to accept that benefit or choose to seek out health insurance in the individual market,” Heath told VR.