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The Supreme Court handed down a decision today that employers can eliminate Birth Control from your Health Insurance!
We MUST UNCOUPLE HEALTHCARE FROM EMPLOYMENT!
That starts with the New Mexico Health Security Act and moves on the Universal Health Care!
Here is an email I got from the ACLU explaining today's decision:
"Today, the Supreme Court just handed down a devastating ruling against reproductive freedom.
In Trump v. Pennsylvania, consolidated with Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the Court was asked to determine if employers and universities can deny contraceptive coverage to their employees and students based on their religious or moral objection to birth control. Their answer? Yes.
Now, as a result, hundreds of thousands of people will be at risk of losing coverage for the contraceptive care that is critical to their health, equality, and economic security. All while we continue to grapple with a global pandemic and the resulting financial crisis.
Employers do not have to report whether they will drop contraception coverage on religious or moral grounds – which means many people will not even know if this decision impacts them until they try to refill their prescriptions.
Imagine trying to buy something as basic as birth control, which you have relied on for years, only to suddenly be notified that it is not covered by your insurance – and is now too expensive for you to afford. This isn't just damaging to peoples' health, it is detrimental to the fight for equality – especially knowing that this will most impact individuals with the fewest resources and people of color.
Linda, religious liberty is a fundamental value, yes. And everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs. But allowing companies and universities to use religious beliefs to block employees' and students' birth control coverage is discrimination. Period.
Being able to decide whether and when to become a parent means that you can make decisions about your economic, educational, and family life. Everyone should have birth control coverage, regardless of where they work or where they go to school – and yet the Supreme Court's decision means that this critical form of health care may be denied to countless individuals.
This decision cannot go unanswered. The ACLU and our partners will be working as swiftly as possible to address the Court's mistake here – holding both our public officials accountable to reverse and prevent the damage of this unconscionable decision.
We'll need passionate activists like you on our side as well. So please, stay with us as we prepare for what's ahead and we will be sure to keep you updated on the fight moving forward.
Brigitte Amiri, Deputy Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project"
That is right, you might not even know until to go to refill your prescription. We already know that Hobby Lobby will use this to cut their employee's benefits. I expect this will also be applied to other Women's Health Care services which might take us back to this Conservative Court. This is a direct attack on Women's Rights to choose their own life path and we are not even talking about abortion - simply Birth Control. Can you tell I'm livid? We need employee action in union. We need boycotts. What can we do - share your thoughts?
More explanation from NM Political Report on this ruling and that New Mexico may be able to provide a few options as explained by the ACLU-NM.
New Mexico women can still get contraception coverage despite Supreme Court ruling
By Susan Dunlap
"A recent law passed in New Mexico enables women in the state to continue contraceptive coverage despite the court’s decision which now enables private companies to deny contraception coverage by citing moral or religious objections.
But, Ellie Rushforth, reproductive rights attorney for the ACLU-NM warned, the future is uncertain.
“It doesn’t mean we’re fully insulated from future issues related to this,” she said.
The Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s decision on Wednesday in the case, Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania. A nonprofit run by nuns, Little Sisters of the Poor argued that sending a form to the federal government to let the government know that the organization objected to covering contraception for its employees was an “undue burden.” The group felt that doing so went against their values because the necessary form then enabled the federal government to alert the insurance provider that it had to provide no-cost coverage for the contraception for Little Sisters of the Poor’s employees.
Because Little Sisters of the Poor do not believe in the use of contraception, the nuns objected to the federal government’s rules that required the organization to produce the paperwork even though the paperwork provided an exemption in the ACA so the organization didn’t have to provide the coverage itself.
Rushforth said a New Mexico 2019 contraceptive law protects women in New Mexico from being affected by the court’s ruling.
Related: Reproductive rights under attack, say advocates. Here’s what you can expect.
She said Native women who access contraception through Indian Health Service also will not be affected by the court’s rule because IHS is a government entity. The question before the court was whether a private company could opt out of allowing women to access contraception through the ACA.
Rushforth also said the court’s decision isn’t a “mandate that employers or universities drop contraceptive coverage from plans and most employers will continue to provide that coverage.”
According to government estimates, as many as 120,000 women could be affected by the court’s decision and lose contraception coverage. Wendy Basgall, staff attorney for Southwest Women’s Law Center, said the court’s decision will likely impact lower income women and women of color the most.
“Contraceptives can be up to $1,000 a year,” Basgall said. “If you make just enough to put a roof over your head and feed a family, you may not have that extra for contraception.”
According to reproductive research from the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, the number of unintended pregnancies went down in the years following the passage of the ACA and many attribute that to the ACA’s contraception coverage.
“They seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth in terms of what they want,” Basgall said.
President Donald Trump is also a petitioner in the lawsuit, alongside Little Sisters of the Poor, and the case is sometimes referred to as Trump v. Pennsylvania. Trump campaigned on appointing anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and has succeeded in appointing two, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion. Justice Elena Kagan wrote a concurrence in which she said she agreed with the opinion but not the opinion’s reasoning. Justice Stephen Breyer joined Kagan in her concurrence.
Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Basgall said Kagan’s concurrence was “disappointing,” but said Kagan took issue with the way the Human Rights Services Administration issued the rule for religious and moral exemptions to the ACA to begin with.
“The process was flawed,” Basgall said.
Lisa Maldonado, executive director of New York-based Reproductive Health Access Project told NM Political Report that the ruling is an attack on women.
“It’s a huge hit on women,” she said.
She said it also highlights the pitfalls in connecting health insurance coverage to employment.
Basgall said the law protecting contraceptive coverage in New Mexico was originally designed with the concern that conservatives might eliminate the ACA altogether. She said the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider the constitutionality of the ACA during the next term.
Vicki Cowart, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said the impact of the court’s decision could not be “overstated.”