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Birth Control & Religious Freedom

By Charlotte Robinson, February 23, 2016
The National LGBTQ Task Force has joined 28 other local & national LGBTQ rights, civil rights, youth advocacy & reproductive health, rights & justice organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of respondents in Zubik v. Burwell. The brief is co-authored by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) & the Reproductive Justice Clinic at New York University (NYU) School of Law asking the Court to uphold the contraceptive coverage accommodation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Equality opponents are seeking to remove this vital component of the landmark act to further control the reproductive health care choices of millions of Americans. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, "A Supreme Court decision that allows discrimination under the guise of 'religious freedom' would drastically restrict the ability of LGBTQ people to control our reproductive health & sexual lives. Many of us, including cisgender women, transgender men, intersex & gender non-conforming people, can get pregnant & rely on a full range of reproductive health options, including birth control, in order to make the best decisions for ourselves.” Currently the ACA requires health insurance plans to cover birth control at no cost & also allows religiously affiliated employers & for-profit corporations with closely held beliefs like Hobby Lobby to opt out if they submit a form stating their religious objection. If the Supreme Court were to decide against protecting access to birth control or allow the lower court’s decision to stand an employer could refuse to cover contraceptives because of religious beliefs & they could also use religion to refuse to cover other vital health care such as HIV/AIDS medication & PrEP.
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