June 30, 2014

WASHINGTON – Today, the Supreme Court ruled against women and their families with a decision that employers similar to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties do not have to follow the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that insurance companies cover contraception. The Court held that doing so would violate the religious beliefs held by these individual owners.

“This unprecedented interference puts a woman’s health in the hands of her boss and politics,” said Kathy Ko Chin, president and chief executive officer of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum. “We are deeply troubled by today’s decision which puts women’s health at risk by imposing a barrier to basic health care for women at certain employers.”

Unplanned pregnancies present a major public health challenge and have a serious impact on women and children, often coupled with delayed prenatal care, preterm birth and low birth weight. Low-income women and women of color are more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy, leading to health disparities. Expanding access to contraception– by removing cost barriers—is essential to eliminating these racial, ethnic and gender disparities in health and health care.

Learn more at www.apiahf.org.