Defending the Contraceptive Rule

Today, the ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois filed a friend-of-the-court brief in two additional appeals challenging the Affordable Care Act's ("ACA") contraceptive coverage rule. Our brief urges the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to reject requests by secular, for-profit companies and their owners to block enforcement of the rule. The district court in both cases refused to grant the companies' requests, and they seek to overturn those decisions.

The contraceptive rule, which requires health plans to include coverage for contraceptive care without a co-pay or deductible, ensures that millions of women will have access to affordable birth control, and represents one of the greatest advancements for women's health in decades. Ignoring this fact and the fact that the contraceptive rule is constitutional, the companies and their owners argue that providing health insurance coverage for contraception to their collective 1,168 employees imposes a "substantial burden" on their religious exercise. We strongly disagree.

An independent decision by an employee to use her health plan (which is a benefit earned during employment — just like salary) to obtain health care, including contraception, that her employer personally objects to does not substantially burden the employer's religious exercise. As we noted in the brief, the contraceptive rule does not compel or coerce employers to use or purchase contraception themselves. The rule simply requires employers to provide their employees with a comprehensive health plan.

If the companies and their owners prevailed, it would allow employers to impose their religious beliefs on their employees, which the courts have repeatedly held is improper. For example, the courts have said that an employer cannot pay men and women differently based on the owner's religious belief that men should be paid more because the Bible considers them head of the household. The Seventh Circuit should follow these cases and refuse to allow employers to deny equal rights and benefits to their employees — who themselves have free exercise rights under the Constitution.

Also joining the ACLU on the brief are the Anti-Defamation League; Catholics for Choice; Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America; the Interfaith Alliance Foundation; the National Coalition of American Nuns; the National Council of Jewish Women; Protestants for the Common Good; the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; the Religious Institute; the Unitarian Universalist Association; and the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation.

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If you need birh control you have the "Freedom" to pay for it yourself, Expecting an employer to pick up the cost of insurance for this, is an infringment on others "Rights". Why should some people have to pay for someone else to have sex???? How about personal responsability???


The ACLU is on the wrong side of this argument The right to buy and use birthcontrol should absolutely be protected. The right for someone else to pay for it? YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING!


Uh, women pay their own premiums, and then they get coverage. That's what insurance is. I don't hear anyone objecting to someone else "paying for" antibiotics or surgery, or for that matter even Viagra (which most insurance does cover).

from Richard, V...

Give me a damn break with all the almost CERTAIN to be male posters and your holier-than-thou 'feel sorry for me because I might have to pay $200 for birth control' attitude, but I'll play nasty hypocrite when shelling out THOUSANDS in corporate welfare to line the Koch brothers' and companies pockets.
I would have chosen to appeal to your sense of morality but it appears you have none, so I'll settle for wondering what the hell kinds of mothers you had that could make you show this much contempt and consternation for women.
I would have thought at the very least that you were taught how to treat a lady, but it appears you weren't.
I'll settle for saying this: Stop your whining for god's sake. You wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes in real combat with that attitude and you can hardly call whining and complaining a 'manly' attitude. Real men take the hand they're dealt and try to make good from it.
Teenagers and children complain about fate. Adults change what they can, and make good from what could have been bad.
Example: Once I discovered I was going to Vietnam and that all my plans to avoid it failed, I accepted it like a man and did what I thought I had to do. But I accepted it only as far as I had to; I tried to turn negatives into positives and it most of the time it worked.

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