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Unsurprising News: A Majority of Americans Support the Contraception Rule

Brigitte Amiri,
Deputy Director,
ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project
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March 13, 2014

The results of a recent Wall Street Journal poll are not surprising. The poll shows that a majority of Americans support the federal contraception rule, which requires health insurance plans to cover contraception without a co-pay, regardless of whether an employer has a religious opposition to birth control.

The results are not surprising not just because they confirm the results of a prior Washington Post poll, but also because birth control is a central part of our lives. We know that 99 percent of women use birth control at some point in their lives. And we know that meaningful access to contraception allows women to determine whether and when to become parents, which in turn allows them to make decisions about their schooling and careers.

Plainly, contraception is essential to women’s equality.

Nevertheless, some corporations are trying to get out from underneath the federal contraception rule by claiming that their religious opposition to birth control should trump a woman’s decision about her own healthcare. The Supreme Court will hear cases brought by two of these corporations on March 25, including a case brought by Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain store with 13,000 employees.

There is no question that religious liberty is a fundamental value in our country and that everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs. But we don’t allow religious beliefs to be used to discriminate against others. The rejection of a bill in Arizona that would have allowed religious beliefs to be used as a license to discriminate reaffirms this principle.

The Supreme Court should also reaffirm this principle when it decides the Hobby Lobby cases.

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