by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 16, Number 7
ASRM Joins Medical Societies to File Amicus Brief in Support of the Affordable Care Act's Contraception Benefit
Yesterday, ASRM joined ACOG, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Physicians for Reproductive Health and other medical societies in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States in the case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Through an amicus brief, interested persons who are not parties to a case may submit relevant information to a court to assist the court's understanding of the issues.
Our brief objects to a for-profit company seeking a religious exemption to be excused from the ACA's requirement of including contraception in health care benefits. The brief emphasizes the public health implications at stake and the importance of protecting the provider-patient relationship from outside interference. The brief also provides other examples of health care services that could be affected if the Court allows the employer to avoid the contraceptive coverage mandate (such as coverage for childhood vaccinations).
Rebecca Sokol, MD, MPH, Acting President of ASRM commented, “Contraception is part of basic healthcare for reproductive-age women and the ACA rightly classifies it an essential health benefit. Some of the most effective forms of contraception are the most costly--lack of an insurance benefit for these methods would remove them from the reach of many women for whom they could be the most appropriate. Whether or when to become pregnant are personal decisions a woman will want to discuss with a partner and a physician, but her employer's religious beliefs should not affect them.”
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