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06.28.12 - The news out of Washington today is excellent for women across the United States.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a victory for all Americans—securing constitutional protection for the greatest step forward for women's reproductive health in decades.
The preventive benefits advanced under the law represent vital progress toward the fulfillment of a fundamental right to affordable reproductive health care for all women. By broadening access to affordable care, the law reinforces every woman's right to make her own decisions about her family, her future, and her reproductive health.
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law two years ago and initiated a set of rules that vastly expand women's access to copay-free preventive health care—including contraception, cancer screenings, HIV testing, well-woman visits, prenatal and post-partum care and counseling, and other essential services.
The act also bars the denial of coverage for preexisting conditions—including those unique to women, such as pregnancy.
Not surprisingly, the opponents of reproductive rights are furious about today's decision. The anti-choice group Americans United for Life just launched an alert rallying their supporters to "sustain the attack against tax-payer funded abortion." They've created the "Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act"—which eight states have already used to block insurance plans currently covering abortion from receiving federal funding in their state exchanges.
We will continue to fight back hard against their attacks, and we will continue our work with those who support this advancement for women's health to ensure robust and far-reaching access to affordable, essential health care for all American women.
There's still a long road ahead of us, but today we have won a landmark victory that will set the stage for the still greater progress we are working tirelessly to secure.