Lift Louisiana Calls on the Administration to Stop the Attack on Birth Control
Today Lift Louisiana submitted comments on the US Health and Human Services Department's interim final rules which expand exemptions to protect religious and moral objections to a mandate of contraceptive coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Lift Louisiana is committed to ensuring all individuals have affordable coverage of birth control. We unequivocally oppose the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury’s (the Departments) efforts to undermine the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement through this Interim Final Rule (IFR). The ACA’s women’s preventive services requirement was designed to promote preventive medicine, reduce future medical costs, and improve the health, equality, and economic security of women and families. Over 62 million women with private insurance, including nearly 800,000 in Louisiana, now have coverage of these vital health care services, such as breast and cervical cancer screening, breastfeeding services and supplies, and contraception and contraceptive counseling.
By allowing virtually any employer and university to deprive women of contraceptive coverage, this IFR will harm women and their health and well-being. It discriminates against women in violation of multiple federal laws and the Constitution. The IFR also violates the Administrative Procedure Act. The IFR ignores Congress’s explicit intent that the ACA require coverage of contraception. And the IFR is predicated upon a distorted picture of the science supporting contraception, and the federal programs supporting and state laws regarding contraception. The harm from this rule would be especially harmful for the women in Louisiana who reside in a state that is hostile to women’s health and consequently have some of the worst health outcomes and least access to services and resources in the nation.
Making effective methods of contraception available to women who want them but could not otherwise afford to use them consistently and correctly prevents a substantial number of unintended pregnancies. That, in turn, reduces the incidence of the unplanned births, abortions, miscarriages and pregnancy-related deaths that would otherwise follow.
For all of these reasons Lift Louisiana calls on the Departments to rescind the IFR.
Please see our comprehensive comments on these rules CMS-9940-IFC/CMS-9925-IFC