New HHS Regulations on Contraception Coverage Preserve Benefit for Millions of Women, But Contraception Should Not Be Separate From Other Health Care

(PRESS RELEASE) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today issued new proposed rules for the copay-free birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act, clarifying how the implementation of the benefit would affect women who work for organizations that claim a religious objection to contraception.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“The Obama Administration has once again made it clear that it is committed to advancing women’s health by making copay-free contraception a reality for millions of women in the United States.
“However, we continue to believe that contraception should not be separated from the rest of women’s health insurance coverage. Women should not be forced to jump through additional hoops to get basic preventive health care simply because their employer disapproves of birth control.
“An employer would never be permitted to dictate how an employee spends money from her salary or how she uses her time on a paid vacation day.
“Similarly, employers shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against women by deciding what affordable health care is available to them—particularly services that medical and public health communities cite as essential to women’s health.
“We will be reviewing this proposed rule closely and monitoring its implementation to ensure that this historic advancement in women's reproductive health is actually accessible to all American women.”