APHA dismayed by Supreme Court ruling to weaken women's preventive health care

Date: Jun 30 2014

Statement from Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA

For more information, call APHA Communications at 202-777-3913 or email us.

Washington, D.C. — “The American Public Health Association is saddened by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling announced today to limit a key women’s contraceptive coverage provision as defined by the Affordable Care Act in the hands of closely held corporations. The ruling contradicts widely accepted medical care standards, which ensure that women are not denied access by employers to the full range of critical preventive health care services.

“It has been our longstanding position at APHA that access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraceptive care, is a fundamental right and integral to the health and well-being of individual women and to the public’s overall welfare. Unfortunately, today’s ruling poses serious threats to women in the workplace nationwide.

“APHA has long endorsed universal access to reproductive health care, including all forms of contraception, as an essential preventive care measure for women. Access to comprehensive contraception care promotes the public’s health in a variety of ways and is critical in preventing unintended pregnancies. As APHA and other health advocates described in a brief submitted to the court, “Women who are able to plan their pregnancies are more likely to seek prompt prenatal care, and to take affirmative steps.” The contraceptive coverage requirement built on pre-ACA federal laws and policies to ensure that individual and small group health plans covered essential preventive services for women.

“By limiting the contraceptive coverage clause, the Supreme Court placed the interest of a corporation ahead of the health of women. APHA and the public health community strongly oppose today’s ruling."

# # #

The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.